High court quashes Crown appeal

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HIGH Court Judge Justice Leonard Maina has dismissed the Crown’s appeal on the acquittal of former Member of Parliament for Baegu/Asifola David Tome.

Maina delivered the ruling yesterday at the High Court following an appeal made by the prosecution after the Magistrate’s court acquitted David Tome in 2018.

The office of the Director Public Prosecution appealed the Magistrate’s decision to High Court.

Maina said he did not agree with crown’s appeal saying that the trial magistrate failed to act on his findings that the $80,000 pay-able to Baegu/Asifola constituency was based on application by grassroot economic development community for reafforestation through the Ministry of Forest and Research.

Maina, after analysing the submissions from both counsels, dismissed the appeal and upheld the Magistrate’s judgment delivered on May 31, 2018.

The then MP was accused of conversion in relation to incidents occurred in 2011 where he was accused of converting the $80,000 for Reforestation and Forest Plantation Development and never been used for the intended purpose.

He entered a not guilty plea and the trial was conducted on his case and at that time the court based on the evidence provided found no evidence given by the prosecution to prove that the MP has misused the money and acquitted him.

The Magistrate court in its ruling said that there is no evidence to satisfy the accused had any fraudulent intent to prejudice the right of the intended beneficiary.

Andrew Kelesi of the Office of the Director Public Prosecution appears for crown yesterday while John Taupongi represented David Tome in court.