Magistrate: Trial of ‘disabled’ rape accused must proceed
A HONIARA Magistrate had insisted that the trial of a disabled man accused of raping a young woman with disability at Rove, West Honiara must proceed on April 19.
Principal Magistrate Fatima Taeburi said the trial had been fixed since last year and there is no way she will vacate the trial.
She said if the trial does not proceed on April 19, she will insist on having this matter withdrawn.
This was after she was informed the prosecutor in this matter also had another trial.
The matter of Seth Maekai, 30, who faces one count of rape on a person with a disability, was brought before the court for a final interim mention, Tuesday this week.
Both the prosecutor and the defence counsel were expected to appear in court to confirm they are ready for the trial.
Public Prosecutor, Geitaba Waletofea who appeared on instructions of her colleague, Letiara Pellie informed the court that Letiara had another trial as well.
Magistrate Taeburi however told Ms. Waletofea that she will not vacate the trial.
She added that if there is a need for a re-allocation of the matter to another prosecutor then that has to be done now.
“If you are not ready to proceed by April 19, I will insist on withdrawing the charge,” Ms. Taeburi said.
Daniel Kwalai of the Public Solicitor’s Office who represents Maekai was not present in court.
It was heard in court that he was engaged with another matter at the High Court.
Magistrate Taeburi reminded the prosecution that Maekai have some physical disability and the court had gone through a lot of difficulty to get an interpreter to stand in when he took his plea.
She said this appearance was for counsels to just confirm they are ready for the trial and if an interpreter and witnesses are ready for the trial.
She added that she will not adjourn this matter for another interim mention and then adjourned the matter to April 19 for the trial.
The trial continue through to April 30.
Maekai was charged in relation to an alleged incident on 12 March last year at Rove area, West Honiara.
The alleged victim was a 25 year-old disabled female.
Trial on fatal accident vacated
A TRIAL on the case of a bus driver who runs over and killed a man with the bus he was driving at the Henderson last July has been vacated this week in the Honiara Magistrate’s Court.
This was because Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea has another trial listed before him this week as well.
As a result, the trial of Diau Konge, 46, who faces one count of causing death by reckless driving and dangerous driving was vacated.
This trial had been listed for two weeks commencing this week.
Mr. Iomea having vacated the trial this week said Konge’s trial will commence next week.
Konge was accused of driving a public minibus at high speed towards Honiara's direction when he allegedly hit the deceased between 6.30pm and 7pm on 8 July 2020 at Henderson.
There were no passengers on board the bus at that time except for Konge and the bus conductor.
The deceased, his wife and their son had boarded a pick-up truck from the Honiara main market to head back home.
The prosecution alleged that the deceased had taken some alcohol before he and his family boarded the vehicle.
Just when they were opposite the Island Night pub in the Henderson area, the deceased allegedly asked the driver to stop.
It was alleged that as the driver was ready to stop the truck when deceased jumped out of the truck, without looking for oncoming vehicles from both lanes, ran straight into the main road.
It was then bus allegedly driven by the accused hit the deceased and he died instantly.
The accused went to the Henderson Police Station and surrendered himself.
A random breathalyser test (RBT) was conducted on the bus driver but the result was negative.”
Allan Tinoni of Public Solicitor’s lawyer represents Konge while Public Prosecutor Dalcy Belapitu is appearing for the Crown.
Woman accused of assaulting court clerk to plea
A WOMAN accused of assaulting a Honiara Magistrate’s court clerk during a court circuit trip in Isabel last month will plea to the allegation against her tomorrow.
Jan Lista is facing one count of common assault.
She appeared in the Honiara Magistrate’s Court this week and her matter was adjourned for plea tomorrow.
The prosecution was ordered to provide disclosures to her lawyer to allow her lawyer to obtain instruction for a plea.
The charge was in relation to an allegation between 1 am and 2 am on 22 March this year at Ghaseali Motel at Kubolota village.
The prosecution alleged Lista grabbed the alleged victim’s blouse from the back and pulled on hard forcing the alleged victim to stand up from where she was sitting.
She also allegedly also swore at the alleged victim.
The alleged victim did not accept what Lista did to her and she reported the matter to the police in Buala.
Andrew Bosa of the Public Solicitor’s Office represents Lista while Police Prosecutor Watson Akwai is prosecuting.