Botanical manslaughter case committed to High Court
TWO men facing manslaughter over the death of a man whose body was found at the Botanical garden area in June will be standing trial in the High Court.
This followed the committal of their matter to the High Court this week.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea after finding sufficient evidence on the manslaughter charge committed their matter to the High Court for trial.
Ruben Jayrick Hitu, 24, and Tatasi Fati Forau, 19, each are facing a manslaughter charge.
They were initially charged with murder but was later withdrawn by prosecution due to insufficient evidence to sustain the murder charge.
The two men were accused of the death of a man on July 25 at Botanical garden area, West Honiara.
The prosecution alleged the two men attacked the deceased while he and his lady friend J. M were having their meal at the Botanical garden hill top.
J.M escaped downhill when the two men allegedly attacked the deceased.
The body of the deceased was found shortly afterwards at the bottom of the steep hill beside the fence to the church building.
Private lawyer Nuatali Tongarutu represents Hitu, Public Solicitor’s lawyer Benham Ifuto’o is representing Forau while Public Prosecutor Olivia Manu is prosecuting.
Prosecution to make recommendation to GG
PROSECUTION will be making a representation to the Governor-General (GG) for further facilitation of a mentally disabled man facing a grievous harm charge.
This followed a ruling made by Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea on the last court date as to the accused’s state of mind.
Iomea had ruled that he was satisfied with the medical report by the Psychiatrist that the accused Warren Piringisau is suffering from mental illness, therefore, cannot take his plea.
He then recommended the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) to make representation to the GG for further facilitation of Piringisau.
The matter was then at that time adjourned to Thursday for the prosecution to provide an update on the recommendation made by the court.
The prosecution, however, is yet to do that as they are still waiting for the court to provide them with the record of transcripts before they can write a letter to the GG.
The transcripts will be attached to the letter.
The matter was further adjourned to November 26, for Iomea to finalise the transcripts.
Piringisau allegedly cut a man with a knife on 8 August this year at Natahgera Village at Santa Ana, Makira/Ulawa Province.
It was alleged that the alleged victim was asleep in his house when Piringisau went in and cut him with the knife.
The accused escaped after the alleged incident.
Daniel Kwalai of Public Solicitor’s Office represents Piringisau while Public Prosecutor Francisca Angilio Luza is prosecuting.
One Link trial vacated
TRIAL of One Link Pacifica director, Gerrad Tauohu who faces numerous false pretence charges had been vacated this week in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court.
This was because his lawyer Rodgers Tovosia was sick this week and could not attend court for the trial.
The matter was therefore adjourned to November 26, for the possible setting of new trial dates.
The prosecution was intending to call seven witnesses at the two weeks long trial before Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea.
Tauohu is facing trial on 38 counts of false pretence and one count of operating an unlicensed Financial Institution.
These allegations relate to the complaints from five mentors involving more than $461,000 between December 2019 and February 2020.
The prosecution alleged the mentors who received money from One Link customers handed the money to Tauohu.
Tauohu, however, allegedly failed to repay One Link’s customers their money with its interest.
He then allegedly escaped to Malaita without repaying the money.
Police arrested him and charged him after receiving complaints from the scheme’s mentors and customers who are yet to receive their money.
One link Pacifica customers had allegedly invested a total of $56,440, 4575 in the scheme but police had only managed to recover $336,891.20.
Private lawyer Rodgers Tovosia is representing Tauohu while Public Prosecutor Jonathan Auga is prosecuting.
Prosecution to respond to representation
LAWYER representing the Chinese national accused of unlawfully entering a quarantine station at the Pacific Casino hotel in September had made a representation to the prosecution.
Eddie Xiao is facing one count of the prohibition of entry of a person in a quarantine station.
This is contrary to clause 4 of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (Declaration of Quarantine Stations) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order as read with Regulation 8 (2) and (3) of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No.3) Regulations 2020.
His matter was mentioned in the Honiara Magistrate’s Court this week and was further adjourned to November 26.
The adjournment was made to allow the prosecution to respond to a representation made by Xiao’s lawyer.
Silverio Lepe of Sol-Law is representing Xiao.
Xiao was accused of entering the quarantine station at the Pacific Casino hotel in a vehicle on September 3 and received a parcel from a person who was in quarantine.
It was alleged the parcel was passed through ventilation in one of the rooms at the hotel.
Having allegedly received the parcel, Xiao then took off in his vehicle.
The prosecution alleged that Xiao was neither an authorized officer nor a quarantined person to enter the quarantine station.
Following a police investigation, Xiao was arrested and tested for Covid-19.
He was negative but was placed on 14-day quarantine last month.
Police arrested and charged him upon his release.
Public Prosecutor Vernon Taupongi, is prosecuting.