Bogia MP stands trial next week

The Madang National Court will hear the trial of Bogia MP John Hickey next week.

Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika will preside over the matter from Monday (May 2).

Hickey will be represented by Ian Molloy over allegations of official corruption, abuse of office and misappropriation. He was arrested and charged in March last year.

On Dec 4 last year, Magistrate Mekeo Gauli of the Waigani Committal Court found that there was sufficient evidence for the member to stand trial over allegations of official corruption, abuse of office and misappropriation between August 22 and Oct 3 of 2013.

It is alleged that Hickey, being the chairman of the Joint District Planning and Budget Priorities Committee, cashed out a cheque to the value of K680, 000 to a Kapale Limited; a company owned by his adopted son Kelly Salung, without proper tender process. This is where Hickey is charged for official corruption.

The second charge of abuse of office was also said to have happened between the same period where the MP chaired a meeting which excluded all local level government presidents as members of the Joint District Budget Priorities Committee, and allowed three ordinary members to sit in the meeting where they passed a resolution to purchase a ship worth K700, 000.

Again this purchase was awarded to the company of his adopted son while the third charge is in relation to the misappropriation of K680, 000 to Kapale Limited.

Sally Pokiton