Police to arrest witnesses in Dereni murder case


Warrant of arrests have been issued yesterday for two prosecution’s witnesses who failed to turn up in court to give evidence in a murder trial in the High Court.
Director of Public Proseuctions Ronald BeiTalasasa applied for the warrant of arrest yesterday following the non-appearance of its two witnesses.
These two witnesses were due to testify in court yesterday.
One of the witness had already gave evidence and is due to be cross-examined by the defence counsel while the other one is due to give his evidence in court.
Mr Talasasa sought that these two witnesses be kept in custody until their evidences are completed.
Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer granted the application and ordered that the warrants be executed immediately.
He then adjourned the trial to tomorrow for the continuation of the trial.
Meanwhile outside of court, Mr Talasasa added that prosecution will not tolerate witnesses who have been summoned to attend court and testify, refused to do so or finds pleasure in disobeying court orders.
The accused James Salovi is accused of the murder of four people during the height of the ethnic tension on 3 September 2002.
Prosecution alleged that Salovi and others ambushed a vehicle at Dereni, Guadalcanal, which was transporting about 25 people to a medical clinic and a school.
The occupants were mainly women and children.
It is alleged that the ambushers were armed with high powered firearms.
During the incident it is alleged that Salovi with the others opened fire on the vehicle killing an adult woman, two 12-year old males, and one 5-year old male and injuring few other persons.
Salovi was arrested and charged with the four counts of murder in 2008.
He later applied for bail which was granted but failed to appear in Court on 7 October 2010.
He was arrested under a warrant of arrest in 2013 by a joint operation consisting of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and the RAMSI Participating Police Force (PPF).
Sarah Karani of Public Solicitor’s Office represents Salovi while the Director of Public Prosecutor Ronald BeiTalasasa is representing the Crown.