Tribunal given reference in Bogia Member’s case

The Leadership Tribunal was today presented with the reference and statement of reasons of misconduct in office allegations against Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and Bogia Member Sir John Hickey.

Hickey was referred to the tribunal in January 2015 on allegations of misconduct in office when he failed to submit financial returns as required under Section 89 of the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates.

This omission lead to a failure in upholding his duties and responsibilities of office as required under Section 27 of the Constitution and the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership.

The case was supposed to go ahead early this month however Hickey’s lawyer Gibson Geroro applied for and obtained an extension of time by the Registrar of Political Parties and Candidates Dr Alphonse Gelu   to sort out the outstanding financial returns.

Public Prosecutor Pondros Kaluwin this afternoon (July 27) presented the reference dated from July 3, 2015 to Tribunal Chairman Justice Goodwin Poole.

Mr  Geroro told the tribunal that since July 3, Hickey had lodged his annual returns to the Registrar of Political Parties and Candidates Dr Alphonse Gelu and there was no reason for the Public Prosecutor to prosecute the leader.

However Kaluwin objected, saying the tribunal was lawfully constructed and should go ahead.

“The tribunal should go ahead and inquire what happened up to the 3rd of July and not after,” Kaluwin said.

Dr Gelu’s affidavit was later tendered into evidence by Hickey’s lawyer that the registrar did receive the leader’s financial return.

The matter will return on July 31 for further hearing.

Pictured is Hickey walking out of the court house with his lawyer this afternoon.

Sally Pokiton