In Court with Assumpta Buchanan - Solomon Star News

In Court with Assumpta Buchanan

12 September 2019

* Rioter to be sentenced today
* Sentencing date set for Irofinao
* Former MP’s trial starts

Rioter to be sentenced today


A MAN who confesses to taking part in the April riot after the election of the Prime Minister will be sentenced today.

Magistrate Ishmael Kekou will deliver his sentence on the matter of Winston Meaiothis morning in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court.

This followed Meaio’s guilty plea to the charges of unlawful assembly and riot in relation to the incident on 24 April 2019 at the Chinatown and Koloale junction road.

The incident happened after the election of the prime minister on April 24, when a small group of people in Honiara took to the streets to cause violence. 

During the riot, shops were looted including the Pacific Casino Hotel, vehicles were damaged and road blocks were mounted.

A number of Police Officers, Correctional Service officers and Civilians were injured during the various clashes in Honiara at that time.

Public Solicitor’s lawyer Ron Dickey Pulekera is representing Meaio.


Sentencing date set for Irofinao


SENTENCE on the case of the man who drove a backhoe excavator into the Coral Sea Resort’s reception will be delivered on September 20.

This followed the sentencing submissions and mitigation made on the matter of Dickson Irofinao yesterday.

Principal Magistrate Felix Hollison having heard submissions from the prosecution and the defence counsels adjourned the matter.

Irofinao will be sentenced on the charges of intimidation and wilful & unlawful damage.

These were in relation to the incident on the afternoon of 11 October 2018, at the Coral Sea Resort in Honiara.

Police say Irofinao drove a backhoe excavator straight into the hotel lobby following an argument with his wife, who works at the Coral Sea Resort at the time of offending.

He then drove the excavator out of the hotel and later that same afternoon surrendered himself to the police.

Ron Dickey Pulekera of Public Solicitor’s Office is representing Irofinao. 


Former MP’s trial starts

TRIAL started yesterday into the case of the former MP for Makira/Ulawa who allegedly misused more than $200,000 of funds intended for his constituents in 2012 and 2013.

Hypolite Taremae is facing two counts of conversion.

Public Prosecutor Bradley Dalipanda in his opening address said the purported beneficiaries of the relevant reforestation funding paid out by the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) are tree farmers.

He said the beneficiaries of the funding are tree farmers from Central Makira constituency who were the recipients of funds under Reforestation Out growers’ subsidy scheme.

“It is alleged that sometime in 2012 a total sum of $140,000.00 being for Reforestation out Growers subsidy scheme was paid by the Solomon Island Government (SIG) into the Central Makira Constituency ANZ Account, to which the defendant was a compulsory signatory,” Dalipanda said.

He said the purpose of the funding was to assist tree farmers from Central Makira Constituency. 

“After the amount was paid by SIG to Central Makira Constituency Bank Account, the defendant did not disburse the money to tree farmers from his constituency. 

“The defendant used the money for his own benefit and the benefit of others; and not for the benefit of tree farmers who were the purported recipients of the 2012 funding.”

Dalipanda added that in 2013 it is alleged that the Ministry of Forestry made Listing of Reforestation Development Project for 25 Constituencies.

He said one of the constituencies is the Central Makira Constituency. 

“The Payout Listing for each of these 25 Constituencies differs from one constituency to another. 

“For Central Makira Constituency the total sum of $66,105.92 was paid for the Reforestation Development Project to assist farmers in central Makira constituency. 

“Crown alleges that on the 2nd of April 2014 SIG deposited the $66,105.92 into the said Central Makira Constituency account, which the defendant was a compulsory signatory. 

“On that same day, a payment of $66,105 was deposited into the defendant’s personal bank account,” he further added.

Prosecution will be calling a total of 41 witnesses in this trial, including 28 teak tree farmers, eight witnesses from the Ministry of Forestry and Research and others from other companies.

 After opening the Crown’s case, Dalipanda called his first witness, whom is the Director of Reforestation.

He completed his evidence in chief yesterday and will be grilled by Taremae’s lawyer this morning.

Anderson Kesaka of Mauri Lawyers is representing Taremae while assisting Dalipanda is his colleague Dalcy Belapitu.