26 Sep 2003

Former Solomons rebel leader and his brother further remanded on a variety of charges

10:29 am on 26 September 2003

The former rebel militant leader, Harold Keke, has appeared in court in Solomon Islands for the fourth time.

Keke and his brother Joseph Sangu are facing charges of robbery, attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm, in relation to an alleged robbery at a resort in northerwest Guadacanal in 1998.

Keke is also facing on charge of murder for the killing of a government minister and seven charges of abduction for taking hostage seven Melanesian Brothers who were later killed by Keke's followers.

Both Keke and Sangu were remanded in custody for a further 14 days.

Chris Ryan from Australia has taken over the prosecutions case from Police Prosecutor, Inspector Matthew Taro.

Mr Ryan was only admitted to practice law in the Solomons on Wednesday when he was sworn in as chief legal officer in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Ryan's appointment is part of the comprehensive development assistance package from the Regional Assistance Mission.