*Medical report yet to be given to court
*Suspended officer on trial for fraud
*Magistrate withdraws from rape hearing
*Accused challenges police interview
Medical report yet to be given to court
THE medical report in relation to the case of a man accused of using an axe to strike another man’s head at White River area, West Honiara in April this year, is yet to be made available.
Prosecution has been asked on previous occasions to follow up with investigators regarding the medical report of the alleged victim.
Appearing in court yesterday, Public Prosecutor John Wesley Zoze said all documents for this matter were already obtained except for the medical report.
Asked by the presiding magistrate as to the cause of the delay, Mr Zoze said he left instructions with his colleagues to do the follow up with the police.
Principal Magistrate Leonard Chite said he made orders on the last occasion for Mr Zoze’s colleague to follow up on the medical report.
He also highlighted at that time that the investigator must complete his or her job and that his job is only completed upon acquittal or conviction of the defendant in custody.
Mr Zoze said he previously spoke with the investigator who informed him that the medical report that was already being prepared could not be located.
He said they therefore asked for another medical report but that was not yet done.
The court heard the medical report is needed to determine the appropriate charge for the accused.
Maraki Teururu is facing one count of attempted murder in relation to an allegation on the night of 8 April 2018 at the 01 bus stop market area at White River.
Prosecution alleged the accused and the alleged victim were involved in an altercation at the bus stop area and as a result the accused used an axe to strike the victim’s head.
Teururu is yet to be formally allocated a lawyer despite an order for the urgent allocation of a lawyer on the last court date.
Public Solicitor’ lawyer William Kadi yesterday said he did convey the court’s order at that time to the practice manager for the urgent formal allocation of a lawyer but that is yet to be done.
He however, said he will assist in the meantime to enable the prosecution serve disclosures to him.
He said he will liaise with the practice manager to formally allocate a lawyer for the accused since he is facing a serious charge.
Suspended officer on trial for fraud
TRIAL has started this week on the case of a suspended senior police officer accused of illegally obtaining more than $35,000 between 2013 and 2014.
Suzie Pituvaka is standing trial for four counts of abuse of office and two counts of conversion before Principal Magistrate Tearo Beneteti.
Public Prosecutor Elma Rizzu in her opening address on Wednesday said this is a case involving a public officer who is a senior Police Office, holding an inspector rank at the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF).
“It is alleged that on two occasions, the defendant Suzie Pituvaka misused monies that were handed to her by RAMSI, PPF advisors for a fixed purpose,” Ms Rizzu said.
She said it was also alleged that on four occasions she took advantage of a person who runs a registered food and catering business by demanding her to refund certain amount of monies for various unfounded reasons.
“This is therefore a clear case of breach of trust.”
Ms Rizzu said the Crown’s case is that it is alleged that a total sum of $11,500 was given to the accused for the purpose of a daily allowance for police officers attending LLP13 courses at Gizo conducted by the University of South Pacific (USP).
“Course participants have never received their allowances.
“The defendant is alleged to have been in possession of the monies and in the period the course was delayed she used part of those monies for other purposes apart from the intended purpose either for her own use or benefit.”
The court also heard the accused was also allegedly given $11,500 for the daily allowances of police officers attending the same USP courses at Kirakira, Makira/Ulawa Province.
The courses were funded by the RAMSI Literacy & Numeracy Project Program.
It was alleged that the officers attending the training were only given less of the total amount each should have received.
Ms Rizzu told the court that the Crown alleges that the defendant used the reminder for her own use or benefit apart from the intended purpose.
The court had heard that the complainants of the conversion charges are the RSIPF, RAMSI Literacy & Numeracy Project Program in collaboration with the RSIPF.
The complainant for the charges of abuse of office is the owner of a Catering business.
Ms Rizzu said this complainant provided catering services on four various trainings organised by the RSIPF as arranged by the defendant who was at that time the Officer in Charge for In-Service and Specialist Training Unit at the Police Academy at the police headquarters at Rove between June 2013 and December 2013.
“Crown alleges that on all occasions, Mrs Taloikwai (owner of the catering business) had provided food for the trainings but the defendant would order her to refund certain amounts back to her for various reasons.
“That did not go well with Ms Taloikwai as she had already provided the service and any refund would cause a loss in her business.
“The defendant in doing so had gained monies from Mrs Taloikwai, causing loss to her catering business,” Ms Rizzu added.
After her opening address, she called two RAMSI officers who completed their evidences yesterday.
She then called another witness yesterday and the trial was then halted to resume in November.
Prosecution has a total of 34 witnesses.
Amos Ngaingeri and Gregory Muaki of L & L Lawyers are representing the accused.
Magistrate withdraws from rape hearing
A MAGISTRATE yesterday disqualified himself from hearing the matter of a 23-year-old man who allegedly raped a teenage girl at a village in Marau Sound, East Guadalcanal.
Principal Magistrate Leonard Chite said this was due to conflict of interest with the accused John Wisi.
Mr Chite said he used to represent Wisi, who faces one count of rape, when he was working in the Public Solicitor’s Office.
He said another magistrate will hear this matter when it returns to the court again on July 5.
This matter was adjourned from the last court date for the defence to elect a form of preliminary inquiry to be conducted into the case.
William Kadi of Public Solicitor’s Office, who appeared on instructions of his colleague Allan Tinoni, confirmed to the court that a long form preliminary inquiry has been elected.
He then sought a 14-day adjournment.
Mr Chite adjourned the matter to go before another magistrate to set directions for the long form preliminary inquiry.
Wisi was accused of raping a 16-year-old girl at a village in Marau Sound, East Guadalcanal.
He also faces an intimidation charge in relation to the allegation on 14 January this year at a village at Hatare area.
Prosecution alleged Wisi, who usually frequents the home of the parents of the alleged victim, raped her on one of his visits.
Accused challenges police interview
A MAN accused of stealing more than $9,800 from a Church in Savo, Central Province last year, is now challenging the admission he made during his police interview.
Reuben Tinoni, who faces a charge of sacrilege, will go through a voir dire hearing (trial within a trial) on July 3.
He claimed the interview was unfair since it was conducted twice.
This matter was brought to the court yesterday for mention on which the magistrate asked both the prosecution and the defence if they have any issues.
Police Prosecutor Lyndon Adifaka, who appeared on instructions of his colleague Elson Konle, said prosecution has no issue at this stage.
He added that they have no problem with adjourning this matter to July 3 for the voir dire hearing.
Clifton Ruele of Public Solicitor’s Office, who represents Tinoni, made no objections to the application for the adjournment but asked if prosecution can reconsider their case.
He also indicated making a proposal to the prosecution to save the court’s time.
Principal Magistrate Leonard Chite having heard from both the prosecution and the defence adjourned the matter for the hearing on July 3.
Tinoni was accused of breaking into a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church at Banabangaro village in Savo between 30 December 2016 and 6 January 2017.
The Church was locked up on 30 December 2016 for the New Year season.
Prosecution alleged that church members who went to clean up the church on 6 January 2017 however, to their dismay discovered the church cash box opened and more than $9,800 cash in it was missing.
They also found a screw driver allegedly used to open the cash box on the floor next to the cash box.
The accused was later arrested and charged for this incident following a police investigation.