Bus driver arrested for fatal traffic incident
POLICE have arrested the driver of a public bus that hit a 60-year-old woman at Kukum highway road opposite Saint Barnabas Cathedral, Honiara on Tuesday.
This was revealed by the Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau at his weekly conference at the Rove Police Headquarters yesterday.
“The accident occurred on 11 October 2022 around 7pm in the evening which involved a White Toyota Hiace public bus,” Mr Mangau told reporters.
“The bus was travelling in the westerly direction when accidently hit a woman in her 60s,” he added.
Mr Mangau said the 38-year-old driver assisted the woman to the National Referral Hospital where she was pronounced dead at about 7.30pm.
He said reconciliation has been conducted between two parties involved, whilst investigation into the accident continues.
The driver was arrested that same day.
The police chief said they are currently working on an application to remand the accused in custody.
“I would like to share my condolence to the immediate family members for the loss of their loved one during this difficult time.”
Man remanded pub murder
A-22-year-old man who was arrested for the murder of a man last month at the Rove Seafront Pub, West Honiara, has been remanded in custody yesterday.
Ronnie Bice is facing one count of murder.
He was brought to the Honiara Magistrate’s Court yesterday afternoon where he was remanded in custody for the next 14 days.
Bice is due in court again on October 27.
The allegation occurred at around 10pm on September 23 at the Rove Seafront Pub.
The deceased, Samuel Vono Tutai, was at the Pub attending a fundraising.
The fundraising finished at 10pm but people remained in the vicinity after that and were slowly making their way out.
Bice and a group of boys were amongst those who remained at the pub.
The deceased who was very drunk came to where Bice and the boys were drinking and generally uttered swearing words.
At that time, it was alleged Bice went and punched the deceased.
The deceased fell to the ground and became breathless but then stood up after he regained his breath.
He then moved to a table and that was the last time he was noticed to be alive.
People thought he was sleeping because of his drunken state.
However, at around 6am the next day, he was noticed to be stiff and medical assistance was sought. He was taken to the National Referral Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
At his weekly police conference yesterday, Police Chief, Mostyn Mangau said the initial report stated the deceased was standing with his friend before he walked towards the entrance of the pub where he was attacked.
The accused was arrested on Tuesday, October 11.
Mr Mangau urged the public not to withhold information if they sight such incidents, but come forward and report the matter immediately to the Police.
He said, “When such incidents happen in front of us and we withhold information, we are harbouring people who are involved in bad activities.
“My condolence to the immediate family members for the loss of their love,” Mr Mangau said.
Closing arguments on CDO’s matter today
CLOSING arguments will be made today in the trial of the Constituency Development Officer (CDO) for Temotu/Nende Constituency, Philip Tuplo, who faces an official corruption charge.
This was after the hearing of evidences in this matter ended early this month before Principal Magistrate, Leonard Chite.
Tuplo had given sworn evidence for the defence case after the court found that he has a case to answer to the charge.
His lawyer made an application for a no case to answer at the end of the prosecution case.
The defence asked the court to dismiss the case and acquit Tuplo because no case was made against him and that Tuplo properly applied for the project and had met all criteria and processes in obtaining the $58,500.
The prosecution argued that Tuplo corruptly obtained a project, Mebialo Housing Project, after he submitted an application to the Mebialo Housing Project, in the name of his late father whom he denied to have had knowledge about the project in his statement.
They further argued that when the project proposal was approved, $58,500 was wired into the Temotu/Nende Constituency account and Tuplo in the discharge of his duties, went and withdraw the money that was assigned for the Mebialo Housing Project.
He later built a permanent two storey house for himself at Mebialo village/settlement.
Charles Gabily Tanhimana of Whitlam K Togamae represents Tuplo, whilst Public Prosecutors, Samuel Tovosia and Vernon Taupongi are prosecuting.
Chinese couple larceny trial continues
THE trial of the Chinese couple accused of stealing substantial amounts of money from their employer in Malaita last year continues today in the Honiara Magistrate’s Court.
Carman Qiusheng Liu and his wife Vivian Xi Tong is on trial for the charge of Larceny and Embezzlement by Servant.
The trial started before Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea on Monday.
The couples’ almost two-month-old baby was also present with them during the trial.
The prosecution had so far completed two of their witnesses who gave evidence from China via zoom.
The hearing continues today.
The charge is in relation to an allegation on 24 December 2021.
It was alleged they stole substantial amounts of money from the complainant’s shop whilst he was overseas.
The couple looked after the complainant’s shop at Auki when he travelled to China in June 2021.
However, it was alleged that due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the complainant was not able to return earlier as anticipated.
Upon his return sometime later, he allegedly noticed his shop was not doing well as before he went to China.
The complainant was alleged to later find large sums of foreign currencies in a bag inside the couple’s room and also mobile phone transactions in the amount of $200,000 made to China.
The foreign currencies discovered were, USD$4,160, AUD$6,100, NZD$1,490 and local currency of SBD$20,000.
The couple is engaging L & L Lawyers, whilst Public Prosecutor Steward Tonowane is prosecuting.