Alleged robbers want lawyers - Solomon Star News

Alleged robbers want lawyers

30 November 2017

THE two men who escaped from lawful custody at the Magistrates Court last month want to see their lawyers first before taking their pleas.

Frank Firimolea and Eric Nathaniel Junior are facing one count each of escaping lawful custody.

They appeared in the Honiara Magistrates Court yesterday and their matter adjourned to December 13.

This is to give them time to speak to their lawyers before they enter their pleas.

The duo told the court yesterday that George Gray of Public Solicitor’s Office visited them at Rove Correctional Centre.

When asked if they want to plea to the charge or wait for Mr Gray to take instructions from them, both of them said they want a lawyer to represent them before they enter their pleas.

These two accused together with Eddie Funubana and Silas Kwaota were brought to the court on October 18 for remand after being charged in connection to an armed robbery at Panatina Ridge, East Honiara on October 13.

They were all formally remanded in custody but while waiting to be transported down to the Rove Correctional Centre, Firimolea and Nathaniel Jr escaped.

Only Funubana and Kwaota were brought to the Rove Correctional Centre on that day.

Police recaptured Nathaniel and his wife at the Blue Flag beach, northwest Guadalcanal on the morning of October 30 while Firimolea was recaptured inside a vehicle at White River 02 bus stop on the afternoon of that same day.

Firimolea was accused of involving in a store break-in at Kauvare area, a day before he was recaptured.

Police were searching for the vehicle that was believed to be involved in the store break-in, when they found the car at the White River 02 bus stop with Firimolea in it.

 The armed robbery matter involving Firimolea, Nathaniel, Funubana and Kwaota was mentioned yesterday in court and also adjourned to December 13.

It was heard yesterday that investigation into this armed robbery matter is yet to be completed.

Public Prosecutor Andrew Kelesi asked for an adjournment to allow investigators to complete their investigations.

Firimolea and Nathaniel are also accused of breaking into a shop at Kauvare, West Guadalcanal on October 29.

They are charged together with another accused, Robert Hayward with one count of store break-in.

Prosecution alleged that on 28 October 2017, Firimolea and Nathaniel arrived at Hayward’s house at Kauvare.

According to the allegation, Hayward allegedly showed Firimolea and Nathaniel the complainant’s store.

Prosecution also alleged Hayward supplied pliers and screw driver to the two accused and then advised the two accused to climb on top of the store.

He also allegedly explained the set up inside the store to the two accused.

At 3am, Firimolea and Eric allegedly broke and entered the storey run by the Complainant Kabir Hussein and stole $50,000 cash, two carton of Pall Mall cigarette and one carton of Solbako.

They allegedly gave one cartoon of Cigarette to Hayward.

In relation to this store break-in case, Public Prosecutor Margaret Suifa’asia informed the court that she had just received the file.

She said the matter was allocated to her just yesterday and therefore could not confirm if investigation into this matter is completed or not.

Principal Magistrate Ricky Iomea also adjourned this matter to December 13 and ordered prosecution to confirm the status of investigation.

He said if prosecution confirmed investigation is completed on the next court appearance, then a date for the three accused to enter their pleas will be fixed.

He also ordered prosecution to have any outstanding disclosures to be served to the defence counsels before the next date.

Hubert Fugui of HOF law chambers is representing Hayward.

Meanwhile, Firimolea and Nathaniel are also facing two separate matters that are before the Honiara Magistrates’ Court.

Nathaniel faces one count of armed robbery and unlawful wounding in relation to an incident outside the Bank of South Pacific (BSP) at Point Cruz early last year.

He and Ben Farobo, David Faiga, Stanley Ramo, and Richard Rurai allegedly robbed $1million from two Asians outside of the bank.

This matter is waiting for a committal hearing to be made in the Honiara Magistrates Court.

This is to have this matter committed to the High Court for trial.

Firimolea is jointly charged with Lawrence Liliva, Fred Taebo Dara and a 15 year-old juvenile for the initial robbery allegations that were said to have occurred in Honiara in May and June in 2015.

This matter is pending trial in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court.