3 Mar 2005

Solomons militant on murder charge makes sworn statement in his defence

11:44 am on 3 March 2005

Former Solomon Islands militant leader, Harold Keke, has told a court in Honiara that he did not kill Fr Augustine Geve and that the Cabinet Minister and MP for South Guadalcanal, was already dead when he arrived at Haleatu Village on 20 August 2002.

In a sworn statement from the witness box, Keke said that Fr 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 Fr Geve.

All three have pleaded NOT guilty to the charge.

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