3 Mar 2005

Keke denies killing Solomons minister in 2002

9:13 am on 3 March 2005

A former Solomon Islands militant leader, Harold Keke, has told a court in Honiara that he did not kill the cabinet minister, Father Augustine Geve and that he was already dead when he arrived at Haleatu Village on August the 20th 2002.

Keke said that Father Geve was killed by persons he named as Lianga and Morris, Keke's uncle, both members of the Guadalcanal Liberation Front.

He told the Court both men were dead.

Keke and two of his men, Ronnie Cawa and Francis Lela, have been charged with the murder of Father Geve.

All three have pleaded not guilty to the charge.

When the Defense opened its case yesterday morning, the hearing was told that following advice from his Counsel, Keke had a case to answer and that he would give a sworn statement from the witness stand.

Cawa is also to make a sworn statement, but Lela has decided to remain silent and not to answer to the evidence presented by prosecution witnesses over the past four weeks