In court with Assumpta - Solomon Star News

In court with Assumpta

14 April 2021

* Alleged gold robber wants senior lawyer  
* Trial SFA’s $375k theft continues tomorrow
* Woman facing assault charge under warrant of arrest

Alleged gold robber wants senior lawyer

THE voir dire (trial within a trial) that was scheduled to commence last week on the case of the men accused of robbing gold bars and $140,000 in cash from the Winwin Mining camp last December had been vacated and rescheduled to May.

This was after one of the nine accused made a request for an experienced lawyer from the Public Solicitor’s Office to represent him at the voir dire hearing.

Samo Kabolo had been previously represented by a private lawyer.

However, after he failed to pay up his legal fees, his lawyer withdrew his legal representation leaving Kabolo without a lawyer.

His matter was then re-allocated to the Public Solicitor’s Office where a young lawyer was allocated to represent Kabolo.

Kabolo, however, refused his representation and requested an experienced lawyer.

Given his request, the voir dire was therefore vacated and re-scheduled to commence on May 4.

 Kabolo and his co-accused Norman Garnita, Martin Maelifanua, Ken Anilava, Harrison Ramo, Olson Seda, Watson Tabaliau, Samson Sake, and Greg Hurainima are contesting the admission made to police during their Record of Interview.

The trial proper will commence after the outcome of the voir dire hearing.

 All the accused were charged in relation to the alleged armed robbery which occurred in the early hours of 9th December 2020 at Winwin mining camp in northeast Guadalcanal.

They are facing various charges of armed robbery and impersonating a police officer.

The prosecution alleged the men entered the mining camp in a G-plated land cruiser and robbed two gold bars, $140,000 in cash, and 15 mobile phones.

Some of the men were allegedly wearing balaclavas and some of them were allegedly armed with pepper spray.

It was also alleged they wore police sky blue uniforms and police t-shirts.

So far only two mobile phones have been recovered, the court previously heard.


Trial SFA’s $375k theft continues tomorrow


ABOUT two or three more prosecution witnesses will be giving evidence against a man accused of stealing more than $370,000 from the Solomon Forest Association (SFA) when the trial resumes tomorrow.

The trial on the matter of Patrick Soeasi Maelaua, 46, who faces 13 counts of larceny by a servant, had started last week before Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea.

The prosecution had called five witnesses last week and will be calling about two or three more witnesses when the trial resumes tomorrow.

Maelaua was allegedly the accountant for the Solomon Forest Association (SFA), at the time of the alleged offending and was in the custody of the association’s cheque book.

The prosecution alleged that on 13 different occasions between 30 September 2016 and 1 February 2017, he withdrew or cashed 13 cheques totaling up to $375,000 from the SFA funds.

Allan Tinoni of the Public Solicitor’s Office represents Maelaua while Public Prosecutor Steward Tonowane is prosecuting.


Woman facing assault charge under warrant of arrest


THE case of a woman accused of assaulting her ex-husband’s wife will return to the Honiara Magistrate’s Court on Monday next week.

This is for the court to review the warrant of arrest issued against Josephine Sanubo who faces one count of assault causing actual bodily harm.

 Sanubo’s matter was listed yesterday for her to take her plea.

However, she failed to appear in court which resulted in a warrant of arrest issued against her.

Sanubo was charged in relation to an allegation on 9 December 2020 at Green Valley, Honiara.

The prosecution alleged the complainant who is her (Sanubo) ex-husband’s wife was inside the home she shared with her husband when the complainant entered the area.

Sanubo was allegedly armed with black stones which she had inside a plastic bag.

Having entered the area, the Prosecution alleged she hit the complainant’s head and back with the stones before being stopped from what she was doing by a police officer.

The complainant sustained injuries and was taken to the National Referral Hospital for medical treatment.

Police Prosecutor Ephraim Pitasua is prosecuting.