8 Feb 2005

Arrest threat for Solomon Islanders summoned to Keke trial

7:26 am on 8 February 2005

The Solomon Islands Crown Prosecutor, Bob Barry, has threatened to seek the arrest of four potentially crucial witnesses, if they don't come to give evidence at the murder trial of the former militant Harold Keke.

The former rebel Guadalcanal leader Harold Keke and his two commanders are facing a charge of murder for the killing of the Cabinet minister, Father Augustine Geve, in 2002.

Crown Prosecutor Barry told the High Court in Honiara yesterday that four men, John Toua, Paul Nare, Silas Vekeni and Ataban Sethy are yet to be found despite them already being served with summons by police.

He said hope of finding them is fading every day, and if they're not available before the end of the trial then he'll seek a warrant for their arrest.

Mr Barry says the four witnesses are important to evidence required for the trial on events after Father Geve was taken from Haleatu village to where he was killed.