Former ombudsman faces court on corruption charge

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

A former Ombudsman and lawyer by profession has appeared in court yesterday for one count of embezzlement.

ON Monday the defence lawyer, Michael Pitakaka, told court that there are issues needed to be sort out on the case.

This relates to which Magistrate is supposed to hear the trial of the case and secondly where the hearing should take place.

Previously the case was heard by Principal Magistrate Jim Seuika but due to some reasons he disqualified himself from hearing the case.

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Defence Lawyer also suggests if the case against Mr Pitabelama be heard in Taro Choiseul province, this is for convenience purposes as all of the defence witnesses are in Choiseul and bringing them to Honiara will be very much expensive.

Pitakaka said he had already consulted the Director of Public Prosecution on the suggested ideas said in court and he responded that prosecution has no issues on that.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea then adjourned the case to September 3 for confirmation of which Magistrate to preside over the case and also for confirmation on whether or not a fresh trial should be conducted or use the evidence already presented before the previous magistrate.

Elma Rizzu of the Office of the Director Public Prosecution appears on behalf of the Director Public Prosecution Ronald Bei Talasasa while Michael Pitakaka a private lawyer is representing the accused.

ENDS//

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