Family of four facing larceny charges yet to plea
THE four family members accused of stealing stealing valuable items and goods from shops and business houses in East Honiara during last November’s unrest are yet to take their pleas.
This was because their lawyer is yet to get plea instruction from them.
The mother, father and their two sons aged 21 and 17 who face charges of simple larceny fail to appear before the court yesterday because police did not serve summons on them.
The court had ordered that the accused be summoned to appear in court today.
However, that was not done.
Principal Magistrate Leonard Chite having adjourned their matter to March 22 for plea, also made orders for the family members to be summoned to appear on that day.
He further ordered that if the accused did not appear in court on that day, he will summon the police officer responsible to serve the summons to appear in court.
This is for the officer to explain why he did not serve the summons.
The four accused are charged in relation to an allegation between 24 November and 26 November, where they were accused of stealing properties from Low Price Enterprise shop, Bishop Brothers, Island Enterprise and Power Products at Ranadi.
Police arrested them on 5 December 2021 after recovering the stolen items the family hid inside a chicken house beside their dwelling house at Abira, Panatina in East Honiara.
The stolen properties include Stihl products and tools, boots and shoes, cartoon of cigarettes, bags of rice and other goods.
Honiara went through three days of unrest from 24 November to 26 November 2021 which saw business houses and shops looted, destroyed and burnt.
The Bank of South Pacific (BSP) and parts of the Kukum Traffic Centre and Honiara High School were also burnt down.
The unrest followed a protest by a group of people from Malaita who were unhappy with the Prime Minister over claims of corruption and neglecting their province.
Court to hear sub on ‘unvax’ defendants
CHIEF Magistrate Emma Garo will on Friday hear submissions from counsels regarding the issue as to whether or not the Magistrate Court should refuse entry to accused persons who are not vaccinated.
She raised this issue when mentioning her matters via the virtual audio link yesterday.
One of her matters is the matter of the men accused of the robbery at the Winwin Mining Camp in Guadalcanal in 2020.
This matter had gone through a voir dire hearing last year but is yet to be completed.
She had set April 11 for the continuation of this voir dire hearing.
Given the current covid-19 community transmission in the country plus health safety measures put in place she raised the issue whether or not the court should receive entry of accused charged with offences who are not vaccinated.
She then invited counsels to assist the court and make submissions on that issue on Friday.
The appearance of all the accused in the matters before her yesterday are excused on Friday until the issue is addressed.
Five of the nine accused in the Winwin mining robbery are challenging their admission made during the Record of Interview with the police.
Once the voir dire hearing is completed and a ruling delivered, the trial proper on this robbery matter will commence.
Norman Garnita, Martin Maelifanua, Ken Anilava, Harrison Ramo, Olson Seda, Watson Tabaliau, Samo Kabolo, Samson Sake and Greg Hurainima are each facing various charges of armed robbery and impersonating police officer.
This is in relation to the alleged armed robbery incident in the early hours of 9 December 2020 at the Winwin Mining Camp.
It was alleged the accused men entered the mining camp in a G-plated land cruiser and robbed two gold bars, $140,000 in cash and 15 mobile phones.
Some of the men were allegedly wore balaclavas and some of them were allegedly armed with pepper spray.
It was also alleged they wore police sky blue uniform and police t-shirts.
So far only two mobile phones have been recovered.
Lawyers from the Public Solicitor’s Office and Private Lawyer Ben Etomea represent the accused while Public Prosecutor Vernon Taupongi is prosecuting.
Court to set trial dates on Foreigner’s larceny case
DATES to hear evidences into the case of a Chinese national accused of stealing cargoes from his employer’s shop in Honiara last year will be fixed next week.
Peter Liu Huan is facing trial for 10 counts of larceny by servant.
He appeared via the virtual audio link from the office of the Police Prosecution Department yesterday.
Police Prosecutor Moffat Tei informed the court that Huan’s lawyer Jim Seuika contacted them and advised them to ask court for an adjournment to Monday next week.
The court heard Mr Seuika is still in his home province and will be returning to Honiara today.
The matter was therefore adjourned to March 21 to go before the presiding magistrate Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea for the setting of the trial date.
Principal Magistrate Felix Hollison mentioned this matter on Mr Iomea’s behalf yesterday.
Huan came into the country in April 2019 and was employed as a Sales Assistant and later as Sales Manager for the Unique Shop Enterprise in Honiara.
Prosecution alleged that on different dates in March, April and May 2020, the accused stole shop cargoes from his employer.
The complainant and his employees had done an extensive stock check and found out that a variety of cargoes in various quantities were stolen and missing.
Prosecution alleged that Huan was responsible in stealing the cargoes that went missing.
Public Prosecutor Samuel Tovosia is prosecuting.