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In court Assumpta Buchanan

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Cawa to take plea

ONE of the three men accused of abducting members of the Melanesian Brotherhood during the height of the ethnic tension will take his plea today.

Ronnie Cawa will take his plea to 16 charges in relation to the alleged abduction of seven brothers who were on a church mission.

This is for the charges of abduction, assault causing actual bodily harm and wrongful concealing of a person.

The alleged incident occurred in 2003 at Weathercoast in South Guadalcanal.

Cawa appeared on Monday in the High Court but could not take his plea because his lawyer was not present in court.

Justice Stephen Pallaras had to adjourn the matter to today for his lawyer to appear.

Cawa has earlier indicated plea of guilty to the charges.

Two other co-accused, William Hence, is currently under a warrant of arrest while Harold Keke is still awaiting his psychiatric report before the court will deal with his case.



Accused told to contact lawyer

A MAN facing a rape charge has been asked again to contact his lawyer to appear in court or get a new lawyer before January 30.

This was after the 47-year old man appeared in court yesterday without his lawyer.

On the last occasion the court asked the accused to contact his lawyer so she can appear in court for the next hearing.

But unfortunately, the accused appeared yesterday without his lawyer, Nuatali Tongarutu of ANT Legal Service again.

Principal Magistrate Jim Seuika asked the accused if he still wants to see his lawyer or find a new lawyer because the court can’t just adjourn his case without proceeding further.

Public prosecutor Nelson Dhita also confirmed contacting Tongarutu by writing a letter to her office, but received no reply since then.

The defence was supposed to inform court on the type of inquiry to be conducted on the matter whether it will be a short form or a long form.

Magistrate Seuika granted a seven day adjournment to give time for the accused to contact his lawyer or find a new lawyer.

He said he expect the accused to appear in court on the next hearing date with his lawyer so the court can proceed with his case.

The accused allegedly rape his wife’s three year-old niece on August 24, last year at a village in Roviana Lagoon, Western Province.

Prior to the incident, the accused and his wife resided in the house of the alleged victim’s parents.