A HIGH Court judge, court officials, prosecutors, defence lawyers, and the accused visited a murder crime scene outside of the Honiara Central Market in the early hours of Friday.
The visit, taken under tight security, was made between 2am and 3.30am.
It was part of the proceedings of a murder trial in which four men from Malaita were charged with the death of a young diplomat outside the central market in 2012.
Simon Fuo’ o, who at the time of his murder was working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was murdered in the early hours 21 April 2012 when he and his friends were returning home from a night out.
Director of Public Prosecutions, Ronald Bei Talasasa, who is prosecuting the case, said this is the first time they have visited the crime scene at such a time.
He said he made the application for the court to visit the crime scene at around the same time as when the alleged murder took place.
“This is an unusual application as it means taking the judge and parties out to the crime scene at an awkward time,” Mr Talasasa said.
He said the prosecution during the trial had seen most of the lawyers challenging their witnesses on the lighting visibility, which is why he asked the court to visit the crime scene at the time or closer to that time of the alleged incident.
Presiding judge, Justice Francis Mwanesalua, his associate, the defence counsels, the prosecutors and two of the three accused visited the crime scene.
The third accused did not follow the group as he was concerned about his safety.
They were accompanied by police, Correctional Service officers, and Honiara City Council law enforcers.
Mr Talasasa thanked law enforcement officers for securing the place and making sure the visit was safe.
Trial proper on the case of the three accused, Cecil Manu, Simon Peter Delemani and Peter Diau, completed in the High Court last month.
Prosecution called a total of 13 witnesses while the three accused decided to exercise their rights and remained silent.
Only one of the accused, Diau has made a no case to answer submissions at the end of the prosecution case.
But the court early this month found he has a case to answer and Diau did not call any evidence and remained silent.
Closing submissions will be made once a date has been fixed in two weeks’ time.
The fate of the three accused will be delivered after the court has gone through the submissions.
The three accused have gone through a trial after pleading not guilty to the killing.
So far, a fourth accused John Tii admitted the murder charge but is awaiting the outcome of this case before he will be sentenced.
The deceased Mr Fuo’ o was allegedly stabbed with knives and hooks that inflicted
multiple wounds on his head, mouth and back.
He died due to heavy loss of blood.
The group allegedly set up a road block outside the market at the time the late Fuo’o and his friends were returning home.
He was attacked when he came out of his vehicle to confront the group who set up the road block.
Sarah Karani, Nigel Galo, George Gray, and Public Solicitor’s advisor Sevuloni Valenitabua represented the accused.
State Prosecutor Miriam Manata and Mr Talasasa are prosecuting.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN