An East Malaitan man who allegedly assaulted an Anglican priest in Kwaiabu village last December faced Honiara Magistrates Court for fraud offences committed in 2006.

Jack Rade, 39, of Ongi village East Malaita, yesterday appeared before the court on charges of larceny, forgery and demanding property on forged documents related to an insurance settlement claim stemming from the Honiara riots in 2006.

The matters relate to a series of cheques signed for fraudulent amounts and illegally banked via other parties whilst Rade was an employee of a major insurance firm based in the Solomon Islands and Fiji.

Prosecutors allege that a total of four cheques were stolen from Tower Insurance and one of these cheques was cashed for $900,000 on 6 July 2006.

Police prosecutors yesterday urged the court not to allow Rade bail on the basis he was a serious flight risk, having evaded arrest for more than two years and threatened prosecution witnesses. The charges he faces carry a total prison term of 33 years.

Acting Police Commissioner, Peter Marshall, said it was only due to successful police negotiations that the Muslim community convinced Rade to hand himself in to police.

"The fact that this case has now finally come before the courts is a credit to the persistence of the National Criminal Investigations Department and other officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police," he said.

Rade was yesterday remanded in custody for the next 14 days until he is next due to appear in the Honiara Magistrates Court.

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