Marau pleads not guilty

BY ROMINAH FAKA

The re-elected Member of Parliament for Ugi/Ulawa Constituency William Bradford Marau has pleaded not guilty at the Magistrate Court yesterday.

Prosecution sought an adjournment as the Pre-Trial-Conference (PTC) document is yet to be filed.

Prosecution also told court that since the Court of Appeal sitting will be continuing this month crown is seeking an adjournment for June for the PTC to be conducted.

Court granted the application and adjourned the matter to June 4 for Pre- Trial-Conference (PTC).

Marau is the newly re-elected Member of Parliament for Ugi/ Ulawa Constituency this year.

He is facing one count of conversion in relation to the allegation of misappropriation of $5 million designated for shipping funds in 2016.

On April 27, 2017 constituency report was submitted to National Criminal Investigation Department which they investigate following that particular reported submitted.

Prosecution further alleged from the investigation it was revealed that on January 22, 2016, Solomon Island Government deposited $ 5 million into Ulawa Constituency account with Bank of South Pacific (BSP) for shipping fund.

It was further alleged, on February 17, 2016 the defendant instructed the BSP Bank to transfer the entire sum of said amount $5 million into his own personal account with ANZ Bank.

Prosecution also stated, 65 withdrawals which total to $6,023,326.70 has been made from the defendant personal account.

In addition to that, 10 withdrawals amounting to $4,550,000 deposited into the business account of Aslan Stationaries with ANZ a private company owned by the defendant.

And at the end of 2016 the remaining balance in the defendant personal account was $27,868.87.

Olivia Ratu Manu of Office of Public Prosecution act for the Crown and Jillian Soaika of Rano& Company law firm appears for the defendant.

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