3 Feb 2005

Murder trial of Solomons ex-militant hears Keke placed at scene with gun

9:28 am on 3 February 2005

The trial of the former Solomons militant Harold Keke on murder charges has heard from a villager, who says he saw the accused walking away from the village with guns, looking like self-loading rifles.

Keke and his associates Ronnie Cawa and Francis Lela have pleaded innocent to the murder of the cabinet minister, Augustine Geve on the twentieth of August, 2002.

Ben Ngaovaka, from Haliatu village, said on that day he saw Mr Geve's body on the beach there after hearing gunshots.

Mr Ngaovaka told the High Court in Honiara he went to the beach with the village chief and saw Keke and Cawa walking to a canoe with guns.

Mr Ngaovaka also said he had been at political events where Mr Geve had urged support for Keke and his Guadalcanal Liberation Front.

Mr Ngaovaka told the court Mr Geve had said if he did anything to displease the people then Harold Keke would shoot him to death.

The trial continues.