BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
THE case against former permanent secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development Henry Murray has been suspended (or stayed) while waiting for the outcome of his appeal.
Mr Murray was found guilty after trial and his lawyer submitted an application to stay any further proceeding on the case.
Deputy Chief Justice Judge Francis Mwanesalua has allowed the application to stay on the case while awaiting his appeal against his conviction.
Chief Magistrate Emma Garo in the Honiara Magistrate Court yesterday said that the magistrate court criminal case number 865/2017 is suspended or stays pending the determination of the applicant’s appeal to the High court which was filed through the Central Magistrate’s Court on May 7, 2018.
“The applicant Mr Henry Murray is released on bail pending the determination of his appeal filed on the May 7, 2018 by this court.
“My viewing of the terms of the order two made by the his lordship Deputy Chief Justice Francis Mwanesulia Mr Henry Murray you are released on bail by the High Court with no condition being imposed on you and my reading of order two is that you are also not obligated or you have no obligations in this court either so the effect of Order two is that you are a free man you may go from this court and you are not obliged to come back in this court unless ordered by the High Court to do so.
“The compliance of the order two I now release you and this matter is adjourned generally pending the determination of the appeal against conviction by the High Court of Solomon Islands,” Garo said.
Meanwhile appeared for the Prosecution the Director of the Public Prosecution Ronald Bei Talasasa requested full transcript and records of the proceeding of the trial at the Magistrate court to be prepared and produced at the High Court.
“If that is possible, it is the usual cause of events in our jurisdiction particularly at the High Court that appeal matters are not within reasonable time,” Talasasa said.
However, Garo said those are administrative issues and in the Central Magistrate Court in Honiara there is only one typist to type all appeal papers and PI papers.
“So whilst I appreciate the concern raised that if in the event the issue of delay arises that is no longer within my jurisdiction,” Garo said.
Murray was initially charged with his wife but after the trial was conducted the court found the wife not guilty of the charges.
Murray was charged in relation to an allegation relating to a series of offences alleged between 2014 to 2017 in relation to multiple payments of motor vehicle hire charges to a company that police alleged was registered to Murray and his wife.
The allegations said that the value of those payments is estimated to the excess of 1.1 million dollars and as a result of that they both face a range of serious charges.
Prosecution alleged that those payments were allegedly made through cheques and electronic funds transfers, were deposited into their ANZ account in the name of Krash Transport and Marketing.
L & L lawyers are representing both defendants while the office of the Director Public Prosecution is prosecuting the case.