In Court with Assumpta Buchanan - Solomon Star News

In Court with Assumpta Buchanan

05 February 2020

* Rape charge to be substituted
* Suspects back to court Feb 18
* Alleged robber to face court, Fri

Rape charge to be substituted

Prosecution will be substituting the rape charge against a man accused of having sexual intercourse with an eight year-old girl in 2018.

The accused was initially charged with one count of rape.

Public Prosecutor Letiara Pellie yesterday said she had made a proposal to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to substitute the rape charge to sexual intercourse of a girl under 15.

She said this was because the alleged victim is only eight years of age and not of a consenting age.

That substitute charge is however yet to be endorsed.

Ms Pellie therefore asked for an adjournment to allow the endorsement to be made in the meantime.

Daniel Kwalai of Public Solicitor’s Office who represents Anisi made no objection to prosecution’s application for an adjournment.

Principal Magistrate Fatima Taeburi therefore had the matter adjourned to February 18 for a plea and Preliminary Inquiry.

She told Mr Kwalai to indicate the form of a Preliminary Inquiry as to whether it will be a short or a long one on that day as well.

Prosecution was also told to have Preliminary Inquiry documents ready as well.

Ms Taeburi further directed both prosecution and the defence to communicate regarding the plea and Preliminary Inquiry before the next court date.

On an unknown date between 1 and 30 October 2018, the alleged victim returned from school and went with three other male kids to a creek at Alligator area for fishing.

 The three male kids then moved to the other side of the creek leaving the alleged victim alone.

 It was alleged that the accused seeing the alleged victim alone, came and took her away to the end of the grassland village behind the SIEA solar panel tower at Henderson area.

 There, in the nearby bush the accused allegedly raped the eight year-old child.

 After the alleged rape, the child then walked back trying to remember her way back home.

 It was on 9 December 2018, when her mother discovered her daughter suffering from internal pain and abnormal urination.

The alleged victim then told her mother about what had happened to her.

 From her description of the accused to her cousins, police managed to arrest the accused on 12 November 2019.


Suspects back to court Feb 18

THE case of the seven men accused of attacking and damaging properties of North Malaita MP Senley Levi Filualea will return to court, February 18.

This is for the prosecution and the lawyer representing the seven men to inform the court of their position in respect of the negotiations on the charges.

Iki Olomea, Simon Safusi, Arnold Emarald, Chris Lusibaea, George Lusibaea and two male juveniles both aged 17, are facing charges of rioters injuring building, possession, possess weapon in restricted place and criminal trespass.

Private Lawyer John Taupongi who represents the men yesterday said he wants to discuss with the prosecutor on negotiation of charges.

This was after Public Prosecutor Letiara Pellie told the court that outstanding documents were already collected and provided to Mr Taupongi.

Ms Pellie is appearing on instructions of her colleague Jonathan Auga who is currently in the province.

Mr Taupongi asked the court if the matter could be adjourn to await Mr Auga’s return from Auki, Malaita.

This is to allow them to discuss the plea bargain. 

Principal Magistrate Fatima Taeburi having heard from both counsels granted the adjournment.

She said she will always give time for counsels if they are going to discuss plea bargains.

She then directed Mr Taupongi to make his proposal in writing to the prosecution in one week’s time.

Bails for the accused were further extended.

The men were charged in relation to the allegation at about 7am on 30 November 2019 at Filualea’s residence at Kombivatu, East Honiara.

It was alleged the men arrived at the area armed with knives, stones and irons and allegedly attacked and damaged the MP’s properties including three vehicles.

The MP and his family were still sleeping when the group arrived in three vehicles.

The men allegedly threw rocks at the MP’s house.

Mr Filualea had earlier told this paper that two of the men were sons of the former North Malaita MP Jimmy Lusibaea.

He claimed he made a call to the former MP about the incident but the former MP however denied knowing about the alleged incident.

 The cost of the damage of properties valued up to $300,000.


Alleged robber to face court, Fri


One of the three men accused of robbing a shop in Honiara in 2019, will appear again in court on Friday.

This is for the Public Solicitor’s Office to confirm if any lawyer has been allocated for the accused William Maelau’a.

The accused appeared in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court yesterday and was further remanded.

Public Solicitor’s lawyer Steven Weago yesterday after a brief talk with Maelau’a informed the court that Maelau’a had already made a request for a lawyer to the PSO.

Mr Weago said he will follow up with their office’s practice manager if the accused is allocated a lawyer.

Maelau’a is jointly charged with James Bae and the recently recaptured prisoner Willie Olo.

This is in relation to an allegation on 23 August 2019 at A & F shop in Honiara.

Prosecution alleged the trio were armed with a knife and robbed substantial amount of money and other properties from the shop.

Bae is also in custody and will be also facing court on Friday.

His matter is for the setting of the trial dates.

Ms Taeburi yesterday ordered that the matters of Maelau’a and Bae to be consolidated and mentioned together on Friday as they are both charged for the same alleged incident.

Olo was already convicted of this armed robbery and sentenced to three years imprisonment on 9 December 2019.

He however escaped from prison last December with two other alleged armed robbers Frank Firimolea and Dilo Faiga.

Police recaptured Olo on the early hours on January 5 and sent him back to prison, facing a new charge of escaping lawful custody.

Olo appeared in court recently for new charge and was further remanded in custody.

He is due in court again on February 17.

The Public Solicitor’s Office will confirm on that day if a lawyer has been allocated for Olo.

Investigation into this new charge is continuing.

Public Prosecutor Selwyn Vaike is appearing for the Crown on these matters.