14 Nov 2003

Former Solomons militia leader makes another court appearance

10:40 am on 14 November 2003

In the Solomon Islands, the former Malaitan militia leader, Jimmy Rasta Lusibaea, has appeared in court for the third time.

However Lusibaea's Australian lawyer was unable to represent him due to administrative delays.

Lusibaea, who is charged with the murder of two police Special Constables in January 2002, has engaged Australian Gary Scott to represent him in court.

Scott has so far been unable to fulfil all the necessary requirements to allow him

to practise law in Solomon Islands.

Police Prosecutor Inspector Mathew Taro told the court that police were continuing with investigations and had located several witnesses and taken statements.

Public Solictor Ken Averre, acting on behalf of Mr Scott, claimed the police were not in a position to proceed with the case, despite the arrest having been made some time ago.

However the Chief Magistrate David Chetwynd rejected this and said he would treat the case like any other.

Lusibaea was remanded in custody for 14 days and will reappear on November 27th.