21 Apr 2011

One person to stand trial over Marshalls grant fund theft

1:22 pm on 21 April 2011

One of the 11 people charged with stealing more than 500,000 US dollars in federal grants in the Marshall Islands is to go to trial following a High Court decision.

Judge James Plasman ruled that in two separate cases against Ministry of Finance worker Allister Mantiera there is cause to believe he committed the alleged crimes.

He has set trials for August and October in the two separate cases.

The Judge's decision follows months of multiple criminal counts and cases being filed in the High Court by the chief prosecutor Tubosoye Brown.

Mr Brown says the judge's decision confirms the government will be able to successfully prosecute the widespread fraud that has permeated the finance and health ministries.

The development also steps up the tempo of the Attorney General's action against a growing group of people charged with defrauding the Marshalls government of aid provided by the U.S. government.