In Court with Assumpta Buchanan - Solomon Star News

In Court with Assumpta Buchanan

27 October 2017

Court reserves ruling on Sae

THE High Court has reserved its judgment on the case of the former fugitive and high profile murder accused Edmond Sae.

This followed the closing submissions made on Sae’s case on Wednesday in the High Court.

A date for the judgment will be made known to all counsels in this matter at a later date.

The trial on Sae’s matter which commenced in February this year has been conducted in a closed court from the media and the public due to fears expressed by prosecution witnesses.

The hearing of evidences in this trial continued on throughout the year except during the months of the Court of Appeal sittings and few other times when counsels were not available.

It finally ended on October 10.

Sae is standing trial for two counts of murder, one count of escaping from police custody, one count of attempted murder, and two counts of purchasing, acquiring and possession of firearm and ammunition without licence.

Sae was accused of gunning down former police commissioner Sir Frederick Soaki on 10 February 2003 at Auki Motel in Auki, Malaita.

He then allegedly escaped from the Rove police custody on 22 April 2003 after he was remanded for allegedly gunning down Sir Frederick.

Sae evaded arrest for over 12 years until in 2015 when police caught up with him one night in his village in the highlands of Malaita.

One of the murder charges and the attempted murder relates to an allegation on 30 April 2003 at Auki Police Station where Sae allegedly shot dead a man who is being kept in police custody and injuring the other.

Sae, a former police officer, allegedly committed those offences shortly after he escaped from police custody after his initial arrest for the murder of Sir Fredrick.

Sir Fredrick was attending a workshop with other participants at Auki on the demobilisation program for special constables.

The workshop was organised by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office.

Howard Lawry and Ben Alasia of Public Solicitor’s office represent Sae while the Director of Public Prosecution Ronald Bei Talasasa and his counsel Margaret Suifa’asia are prosecuting.

Law firm withdraws support for client

THE private law firm representing the Asian accused of illegally setting up a casino and disappeared after the court varied his bail that allow him to travel overseas has withdrawn its legal representation on Wednesday.

Mereta Tahu of Michael Pitakaka Law Chamber sought the leave of the court to withdraw the legal representation of Ting Kwong Hing.

This was because Hing left without paying his legal bills and without giving any instructions for his lawyer to continue represent him.

Principal Magistrate Fatima Taeburi granted the leave made for the withdrawal of the legal representation.

Hing and his company Cyber King Limited are facing one count each of unlawful commercial gaming and unlawful possession of instruments for gaming.

They were charged under different sections of the Gaming and Lotteries Act and the Gaming Regulation.

Hing was issued with a warrant of arrest after he failed to attend to his case in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court on a previous occasion.

The court had varied some of his bail conditions to allow him to travel to Australia on July 6 and to return on July 15 as scheduled on his ticket.

Hing left for Perth, Australia, on July 6 but failed to return to the country resulting in the warrant of arrest being issued for him.

It was not known if he is still in Australia or has gone to his home country.

A copy of the warrant of arrest was given to the Immigration Department in the hope that they would execute it when Hing arrived from abroad.

Cyber King opened and operated at Crossroad, Henderson, but was ordered to close its doors on 27 April last year, just days after opening.

This followed a stop notice served to them by the Members of the Gaming and Lottery Board for allegedly operating unlawfully without commercial gaming permit issued by the Gaming and Lotteries Board. 

Public Prosecutor Bradley Dalipanda is prosecuting this matter.