24 Jul 2002

Solomons Islander accused of killing NZ foreman gives himself up to lawyer

5:15 pm on 24 July 2002

Police in Solomon Islands say the man accused of killing New Zealander Kevin O'Brien has given himself up to his lawyer in Honiara.

The public prosecutor is preparing charges against John Buarafi who had confessed to his uncle, the police minister Benjamin Una, that he stabbed O'Brien to death at work in Honiara in February.

Buarafi fled the capital for his home island of Malaita where he had at times been sheltered by his family and his brother, who is a police officer.

The Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, Jackson Ofu, says police are awating instructions.

"This person gave himself up not to the police but to his lawyer and currently he is in the custody of his relatives and his lawyer himself. The case file is now with the DPP. Currently, I'm still waiting for any feedback from the DPP as to lay any charge against him."

Meanwhile, Mr Una says he paid for Buarafi to travel to Honiara.

I wrote a letter to him and then I sent the money to his people and then they bought his fare right from his home to Honiara.

Benjamin Una