To'abaita Authority for Research & Development (TARD)

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Former Solomon Islands Prime Minister back in court for criminal charges.

Former Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza appeared in the Honiara Magistrates Court again yesterday on four criminal charges.

Kemakeza was charged on 25 October 2006 and has been appearing in court for mention while waiting for his trial to be scheduled. He faces charges relating to robbery, demanding with menaces, intimidation and stealing. He denies all the charges.
No trial date has been set as the prosecution is not yet ready.

It is alleged that Kemakeza robbed John Katahamas, a lawyer of the Sol-Law firm, in May 2002. He is alleged to have demanded money with threat from Thomas Kama, also of Sol-Law, and also intimidated Mr Kama on 24 May 2002. It is also alleged that on the same day Kemakeza stole two Toyota motor vehicles from Mr Kama. Mr Kama is a principal partner of Sol-Law.

When Kemakeza first appeared, news reports said the prosecution told the court the charges relate to a May 2002 raid by a group of men on Sol-Law. The company’s website says Sol-Law is one of the largest legal practices in the country, and is a partnership of barristers and solicitors resident in both Solomons and Australia.

According to the October 2006 news reports, lawyer Chris Weir, for the prosecution, told the court that two weeks before the raid, Kemakeza allegedly held a meeting at his house. This was allegedly attended by militants and others. The prosecution alleged that at this meeting Kemakeza ordered the raid, according to the October news reports.

In addition, Kemakeza was alleged to have told the group that Sol-Law was not good for the Solomon Islands and was winding up the Solomons Export Marketing Authority.
Kemakeza allegedly told the men to tell Australian shareholders to leave the country and never come back, the prosecution said.

Four men - Moses Su’u, Chris Mae, Ben Idu and James Tatau, all former Malaita Eagle Force members - were convicted in relation to the incident.

Source: Solomon star.

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