In Court with Assumpta Buchanan - Solomon Star News

In Court with Assumpta Buchanan

11 April 2019

* Youth to be sentenced
* Step-grandmother’s fate further deferred

* Sae appeal ruling likely, Friday   
* Pre-trial in casino case

Youth to be sentenced

THE young man who set fire to a dwelling house and a kitchen hut in Guadalcanal in 2017 will be sentenced today.

M.R was only 17 years of age when he committed the offence in 2017 at Tetesalau village.

He will be sentenced this morning following his guilty pleas to two counts of arson.

The complainant in this matter was away in Honiara when the incident took place.

Her family were away at their bush garden and return to see their house and kitchen hut on fire.

They could not save the buildings and as a result the buildings were burnt to the ground along with the complainant’s properties.

 Lazarus Waroka of Public Solicitor’s Office is representing M.R while Public Prosecutor Patricia Tabepuda appears for the Crown.


Step-grandmother’s fate further deferred  

THE fate of a woman accused of physically abusing her step grand-daughter last year has been further deferred to May 6.

Lista Arambola’s judgment was listed for Monday in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court.

However, this did not happen because the presiding magistrate is currently in the province on a court circuit.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea will return on April 27.

Principal Magistrate Fatima Taeburi therefore adjourned the matter to May 6.

Arambola had stood trial for six counts of physical and physiological abuse while she pleaded guilty to one.

She was charged under the Family Protection Act.

Four witnesses were called for the prosecution case while Arambola decided to remain silent and did not call any witnesses.

Prosecution alleged the accused mistreated the victim who was nine years old at the time of the offences.

The alleged mistreatments were said to have happened in Honiara and Guadalcanal Plains Plantation Limited (GPPOL) II in Guadalcanal.

It was alleged the accused usually beat the girl when her grandfather was away at work.

On one occasion, it was alleged the accused was not happy with the girl and hit her head with a tea cup.

As a result, she received a stitch on her head and an injection at the Balolava Clinic in Guadalcanal.

The offence that she pleaded guilty to relates to an incident where she beat the victim with a piece of stick.

Public Solicitor’s lawyer Daniel Kwalai represents Arambola while Public Prosecutor Patricia Tabepuda is prosecuting.


Sae appeal ruling likely, Friday 

RULING on the appealed matter of the former fugitive Edmond Sae  who was acquitted of the murder of the former police Commissioner Fredrick Soaki in 2017 is likely to be delivered, Friday.

This was after the Court of Appeal judges heard submissions regarding this matter on Tuesday in the High Court.

They then set a tentative date for the ruling to this Friday.

If the ruling is not handed down by Friday, they will then have it reserved to another date.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed Sae’s verdict and the entire decision that was handed in 2017.

 This also includes the manslaughter conviction pronounced at the No Case to Answer Stage as well as other matters on the sentence.

Sae was acquitted of the murder of Sir Frederick due to inconsistencies of the evidences from the Crown witnesses. 

Witnesses were also not able to identify Sae as the masked gun man who shot Sir Frederick on the early evening of 10 February 2003 at Auki Motel in Malaita. 

Justice John Brown having acquitted Sae, however found him guilty of  manslaughter of a prisoner at the Auki Police Station on 30 April 2003.

Sae escaped from police custody on 22 April 2003 after he was arrested for the murder of Sir Frederick.

A week later, he went to the Auki Police Station where he fired gun shots which resulted in the death of a prisoner who was hit by a bullet.

Sae was recaptured in 2015 in Malaita.

The verdict on 8 November 2017 came after a lengthy trial.

The trial has been conducted in a closed court from the media and the public due to fears expressed by prosecution witnesses.


Pre-trial in casino case

A PRE-TRIAL conference will be conducted on the matter of the foreigner accused of operating an illegal casino Honiara last December.

The matter of Ngie Kwong Pau was listed for the pre-trial conference before Principal Magistrate Fatima Taeburi at 9.30am.

A trial date is normally fixed after the pre-trial conference.

Pau from Malaysia had previously pleaded not guilty to one count of unlawful possession of instruments of gaming.

He was accused of operating an illegal casino at the Capital Park, East Honiara.

Police arrested him following a raid at conducted on 22 December 2018.

Police applied for a search warrant last November based on a formal complaint from the Solomon Islands Gaming and Lotteries Board on 30 November 2018.

Pau is engaging Lazarus Kwaiga of L & L Lawyers while Public Prosecutor Patricia Tabepuda is appearing for the Crown.