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FOOD CONTROL MEN COUNTRY STORE INCIDENT The unusual charge of bribery and corruption was made against two public officials to-day when Joseph Walshaw Harvey, aged 58 (Mr. Trimmer), and Anthony Chailes Lockery, aged 30 (Mr. Henry), stood trial before Mr. Justice Cornish and a jury in the Supreme Court. They were charged that on June 29, with menaces, they demanded £50 from Steve Lunjevich, a storekeeper at Herekino, with intent to steal the money. Alternatively, they were charged that On June 30, at Herekino, being public officers employed by the rationing controller for the detection of offenders, they corruptly accepted a bribe of £50 with intent to mterfei e corruptly with the administration 01 justice. . Mr G. S. R. Meredith said this, fortunately, was a rare case, arising out of the war conditions when many inspectors had had to be employed under the food control emergency regulations. The? evidence would show that the accused were Government inspectors under the rationing regulations, and on June 29 they called at a general store m Herekino run by Steve Lunjevich, and checked his sugar stock," sales and coupons. They found a shortage of 44 bags in his. coupons. One of them said the matter was serious, as a man in Wellington, for a similar shortage, had been fined £100 and given two months' imprisonment. Later tne shortage was reduced to 2o bags. Lockery told Lunjevich he felt sorry for him, and the only way out was to square a couple of chaps higher up. Asked how much it wouid take, Lockery mentioned £100. bater, when Lunjevich said a check-up by him had reduced the shortage to 25 bags, and asked how much it would take to square the matter, Lockery said £25 each for two chaps higher up, and he would leave it to Lunjevich what he would give them for. their trouble.

Police Trap Arranged Counsel said Lunjevich told the two men he, would consult his doss, who was his father and partner in the business, and they went away to Kaitaia. Lunjevich would say he did not believe the men were rationing inspectors, and when they left for Kaitaia he went to his solicitor. A trap was arranged by a,greemelit with the police. Sergeant Harrington and Constable Molloy were concealed in the shop, and Lunjevich was given nine £5 notes and five ti notes. He then rang up the hotel where accused were and had them come to the shop. This was the day following their first visit, and Lunjevich paid over the £50 to Lockery, who said witness would hear no more of the matter. The accused were then accosted by the police. On the way to the lock-up Harvey remarked that he was dumbfounded when Lockery n ? a<^, e , suggestion, adding that he had been a weak fool. Evidence on the lines indicated was given by Steve M. Lunjevich. He said the proposal to accept money was made by Lockery, but when he paid it and Lockery said he would hear no more of the matter Harvey agreed, saying witness would probably get a stir up by the tribunal but there would be no legal proceedings. Before the money was paid over Harvey had a look round the rear of the shop, and asked if anyone else was about.

To Mr. Trimmer the witness admitted his sugar ration returns had been inaccurate over a number of months. tJ> Suggestion of Defence To Mr. Henry witness agreed that his shortage was serious, but he did not say that to the inspectors. He doubted if they really were inspectors. At this stage his Honor challenged the relevance of examining witness on alleged manipulation of sugar coupons, commenting that an offence of the kind by witness did not seem material to the charge Against the accused Counsel replied that the matter was material to the defence in that the defence was that wittier offered the accused a bribe. His Honor: And they took the bribe, and were apprehended by the police without disclosing to the police they were acting for the Department. Mr. Henry: We say it was disclosed to the police. His Honor: Curious' case the Crown against the Crown. Mr. Meredith: This is the first I have heard of it. i In reply to counsel, witness admitted that Harvey said he would hear from the tribunal and get a stir-up, indicating that the matter was going to be reported. (Proceeding.)

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Bibliographic details

ALLEGED BRIBERY, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 178, 30 July 1945

Word Count

ALLEGED BRIBERY Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 178, 30 July 1945

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