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Witness changes testimony

29 July 2014
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The defence has yesterday grilled a prosecution’s witness who changed her story in court during the trial in relation to the murder of a man at Lungga, East Honiara in 2010.

The witness was giving her evidence in court since Thursday and Friday last week.

She was again called in court yesterday where the defence continued cross-examined her.

Hubert Fugui of Public Solicitor’s Office questioned this witness as to why she changed her story in court four years after she gave her statement to police.

The witness said she had just decided to tell the court what she saw with her own eyes.

It was heard in court yesterday that in her statement to police, she stated that only Aaron and a RAMSI officer ran after the deceased. Now she is telling the court that she saw Elson, Aaron and a RAMSI officer that ran after the deceased.

When asked as to why she had decided to change her story in May this year after the first prosecution witness gave his story, she said because that was what she saw.

She said after giving her statement to police in May 2010, the police never gave her a copy and it was not until last year that the police gave her a copy.

When asked why she did not find out about the errors her statements until this year she said it was because she never read the copy of her statement until this year when her husband read it to her.

She denied changing her story to follow what the other witnesses said in court.

“I did tell the police my story but it is the fault of the police.”

She was giving evidence in the trial against Aaron Konle who was accused of the murder of a man between 12 midnight and 1.30am May 23, 2010 at Tamone settlement at Sun Valley around the Lungga area.

The accused Aaron Konle allegedly used an object to hit the deceased’s head and when the deceased was unconscious carried him to the Lungga river bank and threw him into the river.

The deceased’s body was found floating in the river near where the body had been dumped earlier, by one of the villagers between 6am and 8am that same day.

Earlier on in the evening of May 22, a religious program was held at Tamone and the deceased and his three brothers and their father were drinking at their family’s house close to where the program was held.

An argument then broke out between them relating to their brother in-law and some villagers intervene to stop them since it was disturbing the fundraising program.

It was alleged that the defendant’s brother who was a police officer was asked to call the police.

He did called the police according to the prosecution case a police patrol team was dispatched to the  area.

RAMSI police officers and local police attended the scene and arrested the deceased’s two brothers for disturbing the program.

The deceased however escaped police arrest and was running away when he was chased and attacked by the accused.

Prosecution will be calling five more witnesses before closing its case.

The trial before Justice Francis Mwanesalua will continue today.

Crown Prosecutor Augustine Aulanga is representing the State.

By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN

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