A HONIARA magistrate has refused to accept police’s excuse for the delay caused in a murder case that happened early this year at East Guadalcanal.
This was after Principal Magistrate Fatima Taeburi was informed by the prosecutor that police could not produce photographs obtained during post mortem.
This was because police ran out of the yellow cover page that is usually attached with the photo album.
This is in relation to the matter of Sarani Matthew William, 25 and Tehila Mari, 22 who are both facing murder charges.
Taeburi said the two accused are facing a serious offence of murder which carries a mandatory life sentence.
She said the incident happened on 2 January this year which means it is more than a month since police commenced their investigation.
“They still could not disclose the autopsy report and the photographs obtained during the post mortem,” Ms Taeburi said.
Ms Taeburi said the reason given by the police is one of the lamest excuses she has ever heard from the police.
“The delay in this matter in my view is unreasonable.
“The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force has all the resources to ensure that investigations are completed in good time.
“I do not accept the excuses submitted by prosecutor for the delay caused in this case.
“…and this court will not entertain any more delays,” Ms Taeburi added.
Ms Taeburi said she will arraign the two accused on the next court date which is on Friday.
She said she will invite the defence counsel to elect the form of preliminary inquiry and also invite counsels to make submissions on the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence as it is.
She further ordered outstanding materials to be obtained and disclosed to the defence before Friday.
Sarani and Mari are accused of the death of a man whose dead body was found on January 2, at a cocoa plantation behind Rarata Village with cuts on his body.
Police also discovered a kitchen knife with blood stains on it when they attended to the scene.
Public Solicitor’s lawyer Steven Weago appeared yesterday for the two accused while Public Prosecutor Jonathan Auga is appearing for the Crown.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN