Friday, 25 November 2011 8:37 AM

Court Throws Out Case against Tuhanuku

A Principal Magistrate has dismissed charges of indecent assault against former South Pacific Oil Chairman, Joses Tuhanuku.

Mr Tuhanuku was accused of indecently assaulting a former Human Resources Manager of the company, Vanessa Hall during a business meeting at the Heritage Park Hotel in May last year.

The accusations surfaced around the same time the South Pacific Oil Board had resolved to terminate the management contract between SPO and GRP, and to start an investigation into millions of dollars of unauthorized expenditure.

GRP is a family run company owned by Mike Hemmer, the former Managing Director of South Pacific Oil.

But in his ruling on the case yesterday, Principal Magistrate Shafi Khan said Ms Hall's evidence was in direct conflict on many aspects with witnesses called by the prosecution.

Principal Magistrate Khan says that she was "not an honest witness with respect to her account about the discussions she had with Mr Tuhanuku that evening."

He closed his ruling stating the prosecution has "not proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt," acquitting the accused, Mr Tuhanuku, of the charge of indecent assault.

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