-Savo-Russell MP cuffed over $3M conversion allegations
-Police Commissioner refutes rumours of a politically motivated case
BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
MEMBER of Parliament for Savo Russells Dickson Mua has been arrested and charged for alleged conversion of a $3million grant in 2013.
Police Commissioner Matthew Varley, in a press conference yesterday, confirmed the arrest, saying that yesterday’s arrest is the result of long and hard investigations by the RSIPF Corruption Targetting Team.
“This particular case that we refer to today was investigated by National Criminal Investigation Department NCID and in particular the corruption targeting team,” Mr Varley said.
He said the case is one of the ‘long term investigated case’ and has been comprehensively investigated by Assistant Commissioner Ian Vaevaso and his team.
“So today we can announce that the Royal Solomon Island Police Force Corruption targeting team has arrested and charged the Member of Parliament for Savo Russells the Hon Dickson Mua for the alleged offence of conversion under section 278 of the penal code, for the alleged conversion of the $3million of a grant from the National Transport Fund in 2013 which was paid to the Savo Russell constituency,” Varley said.
Varley said the payment of that grant was for the purpose of purchasing a ship and police alleged that the money was never used to purchase the ship.
Meanwhile, Varley also refutes rumours which claim that this particular case is politically motivated.
Speculations surrounding the case suggest that the case against Mua is politically motivated as the person who is behind the case is a police officer who had recently resigned to contest the National General Elections for Savo/Russells.
In yesterday’s conference, Varley responded to media questions, denying any form of conflict of interest on Mua’s case.
“Our investigations are thorough and subjects to checks and balances and not politically motivated at all.
“So people can make claims and I guess if that’s the claim the MP and his supporters can make that in court but we stand behind our case and we stand behind the investigators that do their job,” Varley said.
Varley said police have a large number of cases in the order of dozens of cases in front of them.
“But what we do and as I have said before we prioritize our resources our limited resources to best effect by looking at the cases that are the most serious, the cases that have the highest availability of evidence and highest likely hood of a successful prosecution.
“We can’t investigate everything but we do our very best to investigate the most important cases we have many others on our books at the moment and we will continue to investigate them.”
He also downplayed rumours that police are planning a mass scale arrest on MPs.
“I know that rumour has been going around and as I have said before that is not true I have also said before that we do have number of other cases under investigation and we will continue to proceed to finality as soon as we can.”