Wednesday, 11 March 2009 8:23 AM

Makira-Ulawa Provincial Minister Loses Seat

The Ministry of Provincial Government had confirmed that the Makira Ulawa Provincial Minister for Community Development and Social Services, Martin Karani had lost his provincial seat following his imprisonment by the Honiara Magistrates court.

Magistrates Court Judge Michael Scott had sentenced Karani to eight months imprisonment after convicting him guilty of official corruption.

A spokesman from the Provincial Government Ministry however says there are no immediate plans for a bye-election to fill the North Star Harbour ward in Makira Ulawa Provincial Assembly vacated by Karani's imprisonment.

Magistrate Scott heard that Karani had devised a sham tender process when he was a chief electoral officer in the Electoral Commission for his personal gain.

The court heard that Karani acted dishonestly and deceived his superior officers and the Ministry of Finance by chartering a vessel under a contract agreement to conduct a bye-election in the Ulawa Ugi Constituency in 2004.

The court heard that the fraud scheme earned Karani a personal gain of six thousand 500 dollars.


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