Former Solomon Islands top official found guilty of corruption

HONIARA – The Solomon Islands court last Friday found former permanent secretary for the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) Henry Murray guilty of defrauding the government of more than $700,000 (US$89,774).

But his wife Rose was acquitted of 16 counts of false pretense.

Murray was found guilty of 11 counts of official corruption for corruptly receiving $707,550 (US$90,743 between 2014 and 2017 from vehicle hires.

Chief Magistrate Emma Garo however, found Murray not guilty of three of the official corruption charges involving $188,450 (US$24,168).

“Krash Transport and Marketing is not a separate entity from the defendant Henry Murray and the defendant Rose Murray,” Garo said in her ruling.

“They are in law and in fact one and the same person,” she added.

“Viewed in this context, the only conclusion to draw on the evidence is that the defendant, Henry Murray has put himself in a conflict of interest situation when he issued the certification of road worthiness of the vehicles owned by Krash Transport and Marketing, granted approval of the hiring of Krash Transport and Marketing in Government Hire Agreements, and granted approval for payments to be made to Krash Transport and Marketing.

Murray’s wife Rose was also not found guilty of the 16 counts of false pretence against her.

 

Murray will appear in court again on May 14 for sentencing submissions and mitigation.

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