21 Aug 2003

Marshall Islands court asked to retry College controller

4:40 pm on 21 August 2003

The Marshall Islands High Court is being asked to set a new trial of a controller, Louiston Louis, found guilty by a jury last month of stealing nearly 400-thousand US dollars from the College of the Marshall Islands.

The appeal motion will be heard tomorrow on the grounds that Louis was taken to trial on the wrong charges.

If the motion is denied, Louis will be sentenced on 64 counts for which the jury found him guilty.

Louis' defence attorney, David Lowe, says the High Court made an error because the evidence provided was not adequate to convict Louis on cheating and larceny, the two charges he faced at trial.

Mr Lowe says the government offered evidence on an embezzlement upon which the jury convicted Louis of cheating and larceny.

Louis was initially charged with stealing more than 641-thousand dollars in the largest case of its kind in Marshall Islands history.