THE committal hearing of a man accused of the murder of a 15-year-old boy at Kukum, Honiara, last August will be heard before another magistrate.
This was after Magistrate, Emily Vagibule Pakoa, recused herself from hearing the Long Form Preliminary Inquiry (committal hearing) early this week.
The defence had made an application for Magistrate Pakoa to recuse herself due to the issue of conflict of interest.
The defence raised the issue of conflict of interest because Magistrate Pakoa is related to the prosecutor in carriage of this matter.
Magistrate Pakoa, in her ruling to the application, said she does not think she will be biased except for the blood ties she had with the prosecutor.
However, she said for fairness and public confidence in the justice system, she recused herself and adjourned the matter to March 21 before another magistrate.
Tate is facing one count of murder.
This is in connection to the allegation on 7 August 2022 at Kukum.
The prosecution alleged that Tate beat the deceased teenager nicknamed ‘White Angel’ with a branch of a fallen rain tree.
This was after the teenager and another boy allegedly stole a bag from a car parked in front of a shop at Kukum.
The strikes by the accused landed on the deceased’s head, shoulders, ribs, back and legs.
After the beatings, the deceased escaped towards Mbua Valley School.
He exited through the Ports area before collapsing onto the main road to Mbua Valley.
The deceased was assisted by the Police to the National Referral Hospital but unfortunately was pronounced dead the following day.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN