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Mark Kemakeza charged with corruption, abuse of office

By Assumpta Buchanan HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 31, 2012) – The judgment into the case of Gela Member of Parliament (MP) Mark Kemakeza will be delivered February 21 in the Honiara Magistrate’s Court.

The date for the judgment was fixed yesterday before Principal Magistrate Shafi Khan.

Kemakeza was charged for two counts of official corruption and one count of abuse of office.

He allegedly misused $764,000 [US$103,140] of public funds allocated for fishing projects in his constituency.

The MP’s lawyer, Maelyn Bird, yesterday appeared in court without her client.

She said her client contacted her and informed her he is still at Savo Island, Central Province and unable to travel due to the bad weather.

However, the MP relayed to Ms Bird he will try to come over to Honiara anytime yesterday depending upon the weather.

The prosecutor did not object to MP’s explanation of absence.

The presiding magistrate, Principal Magistrate Shafi Khan said a few more days are also needed to sort out the judgment.

Apart from that he will also be taking a few days break as well as the prosecutor who will be going out of the country for a week.

Having considered these circumstances, Magistrate Khan adjourned the matter to February 21 for the judgment.

He told Ms Bird that her client needs to be present in court on that day.

Robert Barry of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) appeared on behalf of the Crown.

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