Wed, 26 July 2017
Last Updated: Wed, 26 Jul 2017 2pm
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Suspect Airlifted to Honiara via helicopter

ONE of the key suspects into the double murder case over the Easter at LGZ building, Town Ground is now in police custody after surrendering to Police on Monday afternoon.

The murder suspect who was identified as Jimmy Goufi gave in and is now ready to face the law after he escaped police arrest two weeks ago in this home village.

Following his surrender and arrest he was airlifted from his home village in Adatolo, Baegu in Malaita province to Honiara via helicopter.

The arrest was made possible after his tribe's men, chiefs, and his family convinced him to give in and face the law.

The suspect was hiding behind the hills of Baegu after the police failed to arrest him following a raid more than a week ago.

It was revealed, it could have been a tough task for police given his hideout in the mountains has no road connection and is very remote.

However, the tribe’s men, chiefs and relatives successfully negotiated with the suspect where they convinced him to come down from the mountain to the the village.

The suspect then shared his last moments with the chiefs and relatives yesterday.

They even shared a pray together before the police helicopter landed at the village and took him over to Honiara.

It was revealed the chiefs and relatives have been contacting their police relatives over the past days where they negotiated the arrest of the suspect on certain conditions.

One of the conditions is that they want a police relative to go over and accompany him instead of a police special team.

As a result two of his close relatives were on the helicopter to Adatolo yesterday. One is a retired police officer and another a current police officer.

It was through this arrangement that led to the smooth arrest of the suspect.

 Langane tribe vice paramount chief Eleazar Asilauwa who was instrumental in the negotiations told this paper in an interview yesterday that the suspect was in hiding up on the mountains for the past days.

But it was the chiefs and his tribe's men who contacted him and convinced him to surrender, he said.

As result he made his way from the mountains yesterday.

“After a successful meeting with the chiefs and community leaders and his immediate family they agreed that he should surrender to the police and face justice,” the chief said.

“We as a tribe pray with the suspect and have fellowship with him before handing him over to the police with a good heart,” he added.

After the police was informed a helicopter was arranged.

The helicopter arrived at the village after 3pm yesterday afternoon and airlifted the suspect to Honiara in the afternoon.

Chief Asilauwa said what happened yesterday was very emotional but the justice must prevail.

The chief said, the murder suspect told the leaders and his immediate family that his mind is now settle and he is ready to meet the police and face the law.

The helicopter landed safely at the Rove sports ground, West Honiara just after 4pm under tight security and the suspect was whisked away by police in vehicle.

The police media unit yesterday confirmed the arrest in a statement.

“The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) has arrested a 21-year-old man today (yesterday) in relation to the alleged murder of two people at LGZ building at Town Ground in West Honiara over the Easter period.”

Deputy Commissioner of Police Gabriel Manelusi yesterday also praised the efforts of the community.

“This negotiated surrender and arrest was made possible through the assistance of the Adatolo community, including church leaders and the relatives of the alleged offender.

“I thank them for their support and understanding,” Deputy Commissioner Manelusi said.

The 21-year-old man continues to assist police with enquiries.

As this matter is ongoing, no further comment can be at this time, he said.

Meanwhile the second suspect is still on the run.

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