Ruling on Covid-19 rumor case next week
RULING on the “no case to answer” submission on the case of the man accused of posting false news about Covid-19 on his Facebook page has been deferred to next week.
This was because the presiding magistrate is reported to have fallen ill and therefore cannot give her ruling on this case.
The exact date for the ruling will be confirmed next week.
The ruling on the case of Peterson Boso was supposed to be made on Monday before Principal Magistrate Tearo Beneteti.
However, on Monday Beneteti had this matter further adjourned to Wednesday.
She said she is yet to complete the ruling as she was sick the past week and also engaged in a trial in the previous week.
On Wednesday, the ruling was further moved to Friday and then to next week as Beneteti was sick.
Boso is facing one count of spreading false rumours contrary to section 63 of the Penal Code.
The defence is making “no case to answer” bid on the basis that Boso does not have a case to answer to and for the matter to be dismissed.
They raised issues of defective charges and the use of the word “public”.
The defence is arguing that the charge is not related to any issues regarding Facebook or social media and that the four prosecution witnesses called at the trial did not satisfy the element of “Public”.
The defence is saying to satisfy the element of “Public”, there have to be more than five people and not four.
The charge relates to an allegation on March 12, where he was accused of posting on his Facebook account false breaking news that there were four confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country.
The country however does not record any positive case of the deadly disease.
Private lawyer Ronald Dive represents Boso while Police Prosecutor John Palmer is prosecuting.
COVID rumour case returns, Sept 10
THE man accused of posting a photo of an elderly man on Facebook claiming him to be the first Covid-19 positive case in Central Province will return to court on September 10.
Frank Omelanga appeared in the Honiara Magistrate’s Court yesterday and his matter was further adjourned to allow the police investigation to complete.
He is facing one count of dissemination of false rumours contrary to Regulation 23 (a) of the Emergency Powers (EP) COVID (02) Regulation 2020.
The prosecution alleged that on 27 April 2020, the accused uploaded a photo of an elderly person at Tulagi, Central Province, claiming him to be the first Covid-19 positive case in Central Province.
Following the police investigation, Omelanga was arrested at Tulagi on July 22.
He is representing himself in court while Public Prosecutor Patricia Tabepuda is appearing for the Crown.
Dad to know fate, today
THE fate of a man accused of having unlawful sex and indecently assaulted his teenage daughter over a two year period commencing in 2017 will be known today.
The man who cannot be named to protect the identity of his daughter because they are related had stood trial for the charges of incest and indecent assault.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea who presided over the trial will hand down his judgment at 9 am today.
The alleged incident occurred over a period of two years between 2017 and 2019 in West Honiara.
The alleged victim was only 14 years of age when the first alleged incident happened.
Public Solicitor’s lawyer Rodney Manebosa represents the accused while Public Prosecutor Samuel Tovosia is prosecuting.
Logging row trial continues today
THE alleged victim in a row over land concession at Aola, East Guadalcanal last month will be giving his evidence in court this afternoon.
The trial on the matter of Malaysian logger, Andy Ngu Hou Kui who faces one count of intimidation started yesterday before Principal Magistrate Felix Hollison.
Two prosecution witnesses who are also from Malaysia gave evidence yesterday.
The trial was then adjourned to 2 pm today.
The adjournment was made to allow the court to arrange for an interpreter for the alleged victim.
The alleged victim who is also a Malaysian does not speak English or pidgin and therefore needs an interpreter.
He is the Camp Manager for Woodland Enterprise Limited.
Public Prosecutor John Palmer had told the court today they have a total of four witnesses including the alleged victim.
Kui who is the managing director of New World Limited was accused of threatening the alleged victim through mobile phone between 7 pm and 8.30 pm on July 27.
The prosecution also alleged he used several abusive words to the complainant.
It was alleged that Kui was angry at the alleged victim over a land concession in which the alleged victim’s company currently operates at Aola area.
Kui was also allegedly angry at the alleged victim for going after his company’s General Manager for his money.
His General Manager had allegedly borrowed money from the alleged victim.
The prosecution alleged that Kui called up the alleged victim and threatened he would beat him up, kill him, and challenged him for a fight.
Wilson Rano of Rano & Company represents Kui.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN