Administrator to stand trial


EASTERN Highlands administrator Solomon Tato has been ordered to appear before the Goroka National Court on two fraud-related charges against him.
Tato, from Ibusa-Moke village in Okapa district, was charged with abuse of office and misappropriation involving K2 million belonging to the State.
The charges was in relation to the awarding of a contract to Lance Works Limited between March 5, 2011, and March 21, 2012, while he was the chairman of the provincial supplies and tenders board.
The State alleged that the contract was contrary to proper procurement processes under the Public Finance Management Act.
Tato was previously charged with official corruption, abuse of office and misappropriation. The three charges were struck out by the Goroka Committal Court on Nov 27 last year because of lack of evidence.
Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin invoked his independent power to commence a fresh proceeding against Tato.
Kaluwin issued an ex-officio indictment, dated March 14, charging Tato with one count of abuse of office and one count of misappropriation based on same evidence before the committal court. The indictment was presented to the court on July 22.
Tato moved an application at the national court in Goroka on Sept 26 to quash the ex-officio indictment.
The court, presided by Justice Joseph Yagi refused the application last Friday. Tato appeared in court on K5000 bail.
Meanwhile, Eastern Highlands  treasurer Paul Poini Makeso, Okapa  treasurer George Paul and principal of Lance Works Ltd Robert Karano Kafo have been committed on Sept 23 by the Goroka Committal Court to stand trial at the National Court in Goroka. They are facing similar allegations as Tato.

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