MP-elect Marau faces plea in court May 14


The case against the re-elected MP for Ulawa/Ugi Constituency William Bradford Marau was suspended yesterday in the Magistrate Court to May 14 for him to take his plea.

On Tuesday this week the state prosecutor Olivia Ratu Manu told court that full disclosures have already been served to the defence counsel on February 21 this year and yesterday Marau was supposed to take his plea.

However, the defence counsel from Rano law firm Jillian Soaika informed the court that she was yet to go through the files with the accused and obtain instructions from him and prepare him for plea.

Soika further informed the court that their office was unable to obtain instructions from their client because he was busy with the elections as he was contesting; his bail was varied and he travelled back to his home province and just arrived back in Honiara last week.

Thus, defence sought the court for 14 days’ adjournment for it to obtain instructions from their client and prepare him for arraignment.

Marau’s bail was extended.

The accused William Brandford Marau is the re-elected Member of Parliament for Ulawa/Ugi Constituency.

The allegations said that Marau is facing a count of conversion in relation to the allegation of misappropriation of $5 million designated to shipping funds in year 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 of 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, ten withdrawals amounting to $ 4,550,00 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 Soika of Rano& Company law firm appears for the defendant.

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