In court with Assumpta Buchanan - Solomon Star News

In court with Assumpta Buchanan

05 June 2019

* Murder accused to stage defence
* Lawyers to decide on hearing
* Fuel theft case hearing June 11
* Accused to face court today

Murder accused to stage defence

THE man accused of the murder of another man in the Shortland Islands, Western Province, in 2015, will be putting his defence today in the High Court.

Kidoe Tufu is facing one count of murder.

Prosecution had already completed its case in this murder trial and it is now Tufu’s turn to put up his defence.

Tufu was initially charged with two other men, Messiah Lui and Rokopo Gege.

Lui and Gege were however, acquitted of the murder charge after Chief Justice Sir Albert found insufficient evidence against them.

Their lawyers have made no case to answer submissions at the end of the prosecution case.

Tufu is accused of attacking the deceased with a knife on 12 June 2015 at a village in Mono, which resulted in his death.

The deceased had just returned from another village in Shortland Islands to Mono when the alleged incident occurred.

Prosecution alleged the deceased and another person were taken to another village for their safety after giving their statement to the police relating to the dispute over logging operations at Mono.

The incident at the involved physical confrontation sparked by dispute over logging operations in the Shortland Islands.

It was also alleged that on the day of the alleged incident, a fight broke out between the anti-loggers and the supporters of Tri Jam logging company, which owns logging machines at Mono station.

The conflict and threats were allegedly between the supporters of the logging company and the villagers opposed to logging activities on the Island.

The Public Solicitor’s lawyer Michael Holara represents Tufu while Prosecutor Margaret Suifa’asia is prosecuting. 


Lawyers to decide on hearing


LAWYERS representing two men facing attempted murder charges will today indicate the type of committal hearing that will be conducted on their clients’ case.

Allen Nole and Arnold Ramoito’ofilu are jointly charged with one count of attempted murder.

Public Solicitor’s lawyer Rodney Manebosa had on the last court date indicated a short form preliminary inquiry for his client Nole.

He however, could not confirm the type of preliminary inquiry that his colleague Bobby Harunari had elected for Ramoito’ofilu.

They both will be confirming the type of preliminary inquiry that they have elected today.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea ordered on the last court date that if the defence elects short form preliminary inquiries, then prosecution should also be ready to tender the documents for the committal.

The two men were accused of cutting the head of a man with a bush knife on the night of 6 October 2018 at West Kolaridge area.

The reported victim was admitted at the National Referral Hospital for medical treatment.

Public Prosecutor John Wesley Zoze is appearing for this matter.


Fuel theft case hearing June 11


THE case of five men accused of stealing fuel from a ship docking at Noro Wharf, Western Province, early this year will be brought to court again, June 11 for plea.

Nathan Pike, Hendry Vaevo, Edward Okaie, Watson Lampio and Steward Watergo are jointly charged with one count of larceny from ship.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 14 years imprisonment.

Only three of the accused appeared in court yesterday. Vaevo and Watego are currently under warrants of arrest.

The warrants of arrest were issued on the last court appearance when they both failed to turn up in court.

The court will be reviewing the warrant of arrests on the next court date.

The alleged incident occurred on 15 January this year at Noro, on board LC kingfisher.

Prosecution alleged the five men were employed by Mega Company working as crew members on board LC Kingfisher at the time of the alleged offending.

It was alleged that whilst the LC Kingfisher was docked at Noro Wharf, the five accused used a hose and pumped fuel from the ship into three 44-gallon drums.

The drums were placed in a Land Cruiser vehicle that was parked close to the ship.

As they were allegedly continuing to fill up those drums, the ship captain came and saw what they were doing.

The captain contacted the shipping purchasing manager and reported the matter.

At that time, it was alleged that the crew had already filled up those three drums and the Land Cruiser took off with the drums.

The matter was reported to the police when the LC kingfisher arrived in Honiara on 26 February this year.

The five crews were arrested on the same day.

It was alleged they sold each drums for $800.

Lawyers from the Public Solicitor’s Office represent the accused while Police Prosecutor Ephraim Pitasua appeared for the Crown. 


Accused to face court today

THE man accused of robbing $300,000 from an Asian businessman at Luaniua, Ontong Java, in Malaita Outer Islands (MOI), early this year will appear in court today.

Bollen Saupo is facing one count of armed robbery.

He had on the last court occasion already pleaded not guilty to the charge and the matter awaiting a pre-trial conference.

Saupo is being charged in relation to an allegation on 8 January this year.

It was alleged that Saupo and five others including four male persons from PNG and one female from Luaniua allegedly robbed $300,000 from the Asian businessman.

According to the prosecution, they arrived at Luaniua on an Outboard Motor engine.

The Asian was said to be buying beche-de-mer on Ontong Java when the alleged incident occurred.

He was threatened with a gun before finally giving in to their demand.

The group then escaped with the cash and were said to have travelled in the direction of Pelau, and onto Tasman Island in Papua New Guinea.

Saupo, who resided at his wife’s village on Tasman Island, PNG, since 2016 went to Tasman after the alleged incident.

He only returned to Luaniua following a request from chiefs in Luaniua who asked him to come back.

That was Saupo was arrested by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).

Private lawyer Anderson Kesaka is representing Saupo while Public Prosecutor John Wesley Zoze is prosecuting.