Probe into Christmas Day murder still progressing
POLICE investigation into the matter of a man whose wife died days after he assaulted her on Christmas Day last year is yet to be completed.
It was heard yesterday that police are continuing with their investigation and have yet to hand over the file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).
The accused, Philip Basikekero, 56, is facing the murder of his wife, which occurred on Christmas Day, 25 December 2022.
He appeared in the Honiara Magistrates Court yesterday and his matter was further adjourned to February 23.
This is for plea and election of the type of Committal Hearing that will be conducted on this matter.
The adjournment was made to allow police to complete their investigation and hand over the file to the ODPP.
The prosecution alleged that Basikekero and his 47-year-old wife were drinking alcohol to celebrate the festive season when an argument broke out between them.
Basikekero then allegedly punched and kicked his wife’s head several times during the argument.
Two days after the incident, his wife complained of severe headache and went to the National Referral Hospital (NRH).
Four days after visiting NRH, Basikekero’s wife acted strangely and was rushed to the NRH, where she died few hours later.
Benham Ifuto’o of the Public Solicitor’s Office represents Basikekero, whilst Public Prosecutor, Nickson Tonowane, appeared for the Crown yesterday.
Chinese faces trial for assaulting Sri Lankan
A CHINESE national accused of assaulting a Sri Lankan national at Lungga, Central Guadalcanal, last April, will face trial in the Honiara Magistrates Court this April.
Jun Jie Ma is facing one count of common assault.
The hearing of evidences into this matter will commence on 17 April and continue for five days.
This is in relation to an allegation that occurred on 18 April 2022 at the LCSM car sales area in Lunnga.
The prosecution alleged that the Jun Jie Ma, his boss Li Ping Ma and another local who was also employed by Li Ping Ma went to LCSM care sales area on the day of the alleged offence.
This was to lift a container belonging to Li Ping Ma that was kept inside the LCSM car sales area.
Li Ping and the alleged victim’s boss, Chandana Suresh Gunathilaka Karunapedige, used to live together as a couple but separated due to some disagreements and a row.
It was following this row that Li Ping went to get her container that she kept in Karunapedige’s area.
But the alleged victim however, upon the advice from his boss closed the gate from Jun Jie Ma and Li Ping.
It was alleged that Jun Jie Ma and Li Ping swore at the victim.
Jun Jie Ma then confronted the victim and pushed him using his hand and pointed his finger at him.
He then allegedly grabbed the victim’s shirt using his right hand and pushed him towards the garage close to the entrance gate.
The victim was not happy with what the defendant did to him and reported the matter to the Police.
Former Ombudsman trial dates to be confirmed
TENTATIVE trial dates fixed for the matter of the former Ombudsman accused of stealing more than $15,000 from the Solomon Islands Government, whilst serving as a police officer, will be confirmed on February 26.
John Smith Pitabelama is facing one count of Larceny and Embezzlement.
His matter was mentioned this week in the Honiara Magistrates Court and adjourned to the next court date.
This is for the confirmation of the tentative trial dates fixed to hear the evidences in this matter.
This is a part-head trial as trial was conducted back in 2013 in the Honiara Magistrates Court.
The prosecution had already completed their case.
The matter awaited the defence case after the court found that Pitabelama had a case to answer after his lawyer applied for a no case to answer.
At that time, former Principal Magistrate, Jim Seuika, presided over the trial.
Mr Seuika later disqualified himself from further hearing into this case. This left the trial pending completion.
Pitabelama, 66, who owns the JSP Legal Service, was accused of stealing more than $15,000 of Solomon Islands Government monies between January 1, 1999 and January 1, 2001 when he was working as a police officer at the Taro Police Post in Choiseul Province.
In 2000, he took up the post of Provincial Police Commander in Taro.
The money he allegedly stole was intended for the purchase of an Out Board Motor engine for the Taro Police Post.
Donald Marahare of DNS & Partners represents Pitabelama, whilst Andrew Meioko, represents the Public Prosecution Office.