3 Mar 2005

Trial for the murder of a Solomons Cabinet Minister drawing to a close

8:44 pm on 3 March 2005

The Solomon Islands High Court has finished looking into evidence in the murder trial of former militant leader, Harold Keke.

Keke is accused of murdering cabinet minister Fr Augustine Geve in August 2002 with Ronnie Cawa and Francis Lela.

Cawa took the witness stand today and was cross examined before the trial was adjourned.

It'll resume next Tuesday, with closing statements by both the prosecution and the defence.

A government spokesman, Johnson Honimae, who's been following the five-week trial, says the prosecution case was backed by a large number of witnesses.

"The prosecution has been able to place in the witness stand more than 30 witnesses which included the police investigators, both Royal Solomon Islands Police officers as well as officers who are here under RAMSI."

Mr Honimae says prosecution evidence includes interviews with Cawa and Lela.

Keke took centre stage in court this week, strongly denying he killed Fr Geve and blaming two former Guadalcanal Liberation Front members for his death.