11 May 2007

Solomons court finds two not guilty of killing of Australian officer in 2004

8:31 am on 11 May 2007

The Honiara High Court has acquitted two suspects charged with the killing of Australian Protective Service officer Adam Dunning in a sniper attack in Honiara in December 2004.

Setting free the two suspects, James Tatau and John Ome, judge Edwin Goldsbrough said he was not

satisfied beyond reasonable doubt of their guilt.

However the judge told the two they had only themselves to blame for being on trial because of their behaviour

after the killing, with the Prosecution presenting a number of witnesses who claimed that the men had admitted their role in the killing.

The case was linked to another another sniper shooting in October 2004.

In that incident, a police officer from Nauru received minor shrapnel wounds after he and his female Tongan

colleague were shot at while on vehicle patrol at Burns Creek, in east Honiara.

Tatau was also acquitted on the charge of attempted murder in relation to that shooting as were two other

suspects, Philip Kwaimani and John Ross.

In both cases, no murder weapon or eye witnesses were uncovered.

A number of police interviews were disallowed as evidence during the trial.