22 Feb 2011

Mark Kemakeza's corruption trial opens in Solomons court

2:49 pm on 22 February 2011

The corruption trial of the Solomon Islands Mines Minister Mark Kemakeza has begun in Honiara.

The Solomon Star reports the case into two counts of official corruption, two counts of conversion and one count of abuse of office opened in the Honiara Magistrate's Court.

The charges relate to the use of 100,000 US dollars of public funds allocated for a fishing project in Mr Kemakeza's constituency.

The court heard that in 2007 the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources implemented the project to support small rural fisherman.

In its opening address, the prosecution alleged the MP deliberately, fraudulently, and corruptly converted the money for his own use and diverted funds away from his own constituents.

Bail for the MP was extended.