Witness confirms signing document for vehicle hiring

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

THE officer from the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) Leslie Nate confirmed in court yesterday he remembers signing a vehicle hiring agreement under the name Krash Transport and Marketing in 2015.

The officer is one of prosecution’s witnesses giving evidence on the case against the former Permanent Secretary of the MID Henry Murray and his wife.

Yesterday he explained to court the process of vehicle hiring.

He said that there is no tender for vehicle hiring as it was already budgeted for under the re-current budget of the mechanical division of MID.

He said that whenever any government ministry or the MID wants to hire a vehicle the PS of that Ministry responsible and then the Director of the Mechanical division and other responsible sign the agreement with the owner.

The witness explained that the requisition officer of MID is responsible for preparing the vehicle hiring agreement and then from there proceed to the Director and other responsible people for signing the agreement.

The witness said what matters to them is whether the vehicle has a valid licence, a third party registration and whether it is comfortable and safe.

Trial continues today.

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This is the case against Henry Aife Murray and his wife who were charged in relation to an allegation relate 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 the PS and his wife.

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.

The couple appeared at the Honiara Magistrate Court and apart from the cash bail other strict conditions also applied on both the accused.

That they must surrender all passports (official and personal), Surrender any or all keys, access cards, identification cards to the offices of Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) including telecommunication devices, cellular phones laptop computers, motor vehicles, passwords and pass codes and uniform items provided to him by virtue of his contract of employment as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development;

Not to approach or enter Office buildings belonging to the Ministry of Infrastructure Development or Ministry of Finance & Treasury;

To reside at their current residential address situated at East Kola Ridge, Honiara;

Not to interfere with Police witnesses;

Not to contact any person directly or indirectly employed by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development or the Ministry of Finance & Treasury;

Leslie Kwaiga from L & L law firm represents the couple while Florence Joel from the Office of the Director Public Prosecution appears for the crown.

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