* Prosecution ordered to update murder probe
* Alleged taxi driver attacker faces lesser charges
Prosecution ordered to update murder probe
Prosecution has been again ordered to update the court on the status of investigation into the murder of a man at Kirakira, Makira/Ulawa province in 2016.
Chief Magistrate Emma Garo also made another order for prosecution to inform the court as to who is the prosecutor allocated to prosecute the matter of Jimmy Baukuhu.
This matter came before the Honiara Magistrates’ Court yesterday for prosecution to update the court on the status of investigation.
Principal Magistrate Tearo Beneteti had on the last court hearing adjourned this matter to yesterday for prosecution to update the court on the status of investigation.
Public Prosecutor Patrick Rajah Abe yesterday in light of the investigation said upon information he received from the police, the matter was transferred to Honiara.
He said he was also informed by police that police in Kirakira were ordered by the Police Commissioner not to handle this matter and that the officers from the National Criminal Investigation Department (NCID in Honiara are now taking over this matter.
When asked by Ms Garo as to when the officers in Honiara will be going over to Kirakira, Mr Abe said he was informed they have plans to go over to Kirakira this weekend.
He then told the court that partial disclosures were already served to the defence.
George Gray of Public Solicitor’s Office who represents Baukuhu however said he pitied his client who was remanded since December last year.
He said he had gone through the disclosures he had on the file and found there is simply no evidence against his client.
“I am quite saddened that there is still no prosecutor allocated for this file,” Mr Gray said.
He said as he understood from the disclosures the officers from the NCID are in Kirakira last December and they are also the ones who charged his client.
He questioned the information provided to the prosecution by the police saying it is not good to mislead the court.
He then sought the matter to be adjourned so that he knows who the prosecutor in carriage of this matter is so that he can write a letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) seeking a nolle prosequi (to no longer prosecute) against his client.
The matter will return to the court again tomorrow for prosecution to update the court on the status of investigation and to inform the court who the prosecutor allocated to prosecute this matter.
Bakuhu is charged with one count of murder in relation to an allegation 24 May 2016 at Bauro, Kirakira Station.
Prosecution alleged he and his associates assaulted the now deceased person whom he claimed stole his bag from his residence the night before on 23 May 2016.
Baukuhu and his associates allegedly searched for the deceased in and around Kirakira Station until around 2am to 3am the following day before they found him.
They allegedly led him back to Publican Bar, and there they allegedly assaulted the deceased until he fell motionless onto the ground.
Prosecution further alleged that from there, the accused and his associates transported the deceased to Humou sea side.
At Humou seaside, they allegedly tied the accused’s neck using a rope onto a tree branch and left him in a kneeling position.
It was around 6am when the deceased’s body found.
Alleged taxi driver attacker faces lesser charges
Two people accused of attempting murder on a taxi driver at the Ranadi last September are now facing lesser charges.
This was after prosecution amended the charges following proposals made by the defence.
Albert Siunao Niurongoa, 21, and a 16 year-old juvenile were initially jointly charged with one count of attempted murder.
They are now facing charges of grievous bodily harm and assault causing actual bodily harm.
Public Prosecutor Andrew Kelesi made an application to withdraw the charges yesterday based on the evidence on the file that could not sustain the attempted murder charge and proposals made by the defence.
Chief Magistrate Emma Garo granted the application for the withdrawn and had the charges withdrawn under section 190 (2) (b) (ii) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
The matter was then adjourned to 19 January for plea.
Lawyers representing the two accused will be taking instructions for pleas before the next appearance.
Ms Garo then directed that if both accused entered not guilty pleas, a pre-trial conference will be conducted soon after the pleas or if guilty pleas are entered, sentencing submissions and mitigation will be followed.
The two men are accused of attacking the taxi driver on the evening of 10 September last year at the Ranadi area.
The driver sustained injuries as a result of the alleged attack.
Prosecution alleged the two men who were part of a group five people allegedly attacked the taxi driver after he refused to transport them to pay Kwaso.
Public Solicitor’s lawyer Leonard Chite and Daniel Kwalai represented the two accused.