Monday, 25 May 2009 2:39 PM

Prominent Lawyer Taken to Court

Prominent Honiara lawyer and owner of A and A Legal Services, Charles Ashley is facing two lawsuits for allegedly swindling more than SBD$ 2 million dollars of trust funds belonging to former clients.

A Kolombangara landowner, Olupitu Amiki, has filed one law suit against Mr Ashley after he failed to receive an amount of SBD$1.1 million dollars Mr Ashley held in a trust fund for him.

The money is from logging operations on Mr Amiki's land in Kolombangara.

The Solomon Star reports Mr Amiki claims in papers filed before the courts that more than SBD$1.4 million dollars had been paid into the trust account.

He says after previous court cases, Mr Ashley has only released SBD$265 thousand dollars out of the full amount.

He says he has attempted to get the rest of the money back but has not been successful, hence the lawsuit.

Mr Amiki's lawyer, James Apania recently filed an application for a High Court order to freeze the trust bank account.

However, presiding judge, Justice Sekove Naqiolevu rejected the application last Friday saying there is no evidence to show that Mr Ashley may still be using the account.

In another lawsuit against Mr Ashley, groups of landowners are seeking more than a million dollars allegedly held in a trust fund under the A and A Legal Services.

Andrew Radclyffe represents the group.

The cases are under police investigations and are due to be heard by the high court at later dates.

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