Tuesday, 4 August 2009 9:14 AM

Court of Appeal Dismisses Appeal

The Solomon Islands Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Clement Rojumana and John Maetia Kaliuae against a Magistrate Court committal order for both men to stand trial in the High Court on allegations they illegally granted citizenship to 25 Asians in 2003.

Both men were charged for corruption and abuse of office under section 91 of the Penal Code.

Rojumana at the time the allegations arose was minister of Home Affairs and Kaliuae was Chairman of the Citizenship Commission.

Both men previously lost an appeal in the High Court against the committal for trial order.

The appeal was focused on the meaning to be given to section 4 of the penal code of persons employed in the public service.

Both men claim they were not persons employed in the public service, and section 4 of the penal code does not apply to them.

But the Court of Appeal ruled that the two appellants fall within the definitions of persons employed in the public service, and their appeal must fail.

It further ruled that trial should be listed with a degree of priority given the time that has elapsed since arrest and charge.

The Court of Appeal gave the ruling in March this year, and it is not clear if trail has already commenced.

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