11 Feb 2005

Solomons peace council leader testifies in Keke trial

10:13 am on 11 February 2005

The Secretary of the Solomon Islands National Peace Council, Nathaniel Supa, has told the Honiara High Court that the rebel leader, Harold Keke, contacted him to report he had killed Cabinet Minister, Father Augustine Geve.

Keke and two associates, Ronnie Cawa and Francis Lela, have pleaded not guilty to murdering Fr Geve on a remote beach on the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal on August 20, 2002.

Mr Supa told the court that on the afternoon of the 21st August he received a radio call from Keke at the office of the Peace Monitoring Council in Honiara.

He says Keke said that the previous day he had killed Fr Geve with five shots.

Mr Supa says Keke told him that the people had agreed with him that he, Keke should kill Father Geve because he the Cabinet Minister was an evil leader.

The prosecution is expected to call more witnesses today including former Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police and former Commander of the RAMSI Participating Police Force, Ben McDevitt.

Harold Keke and some of his men surrendered to Mr McDevitt and the former Special Coordinator of RAMSI, Mr Nick Warner soon after RAMSI arrived in Solomon Islands in July 2003.

The trial continues.