4 Jan 2005

Man charged with murder of Australian Ramsi officer due in court in Solomons today

9:01 am on 4 January 2005

A man charged with the murder of Australian Protective Service officer Adam Dunning in the Solomon Islands capital of Honiara is due to appear in court today.

John Hen Ome, 31, is charged with the murder of Officer Dunning and the attempted murder of his patrol partner on a back street in Honiara on December 22.

The 26-year-old officer was shot in the back while on a routine night-time vehicle patrol.

The Australian Associated Press says Ome handed himself into the authorities two days after the shooting but police are still seeking his associate, James Tatau, for questioning over the murder.

Tatau is also wanted over another shooting incident on October 21 involving officers of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands or RAMSI.

In that incident, a Nauruan police officer with the Participating Police Force received minor shrapnel wounds after he and his female Tongan colleague were shot at while on vehicle patrol in Honiara.

Two men have been arrested over that shooting and they both face two charges of attempted murder.

Both Ome and Tatau are former members of the Malaita Eagle Force, a militia group involved in the communal tensions and breakdown of law and order in the Solomons.