Forensics busy with elections, Marau murder case stalled


The murder case which happened in Marau, south-east Guadalcanal this year has again moved for May 6.

Part of the reason for this adjournment is the forensics department of the police have been busy with the elections.

Consequently, prosecution is still waiting for the autopsy album from Forensics.

The accused in this case is also yet to find a lawyer.

Prosecution told court yesterday it is yet to receive the autopsy photo album.

Prosecution said the forensic office, which was supposed to send it the autopsy album, was busy with the elections the past weeks hence have not responded to emails and phone calls until Monday this week.

Court suspended the matter for May 6 for mention. Court directed prosecution to serve full disclosures during the course of the adjournment.

Court is to summon Peter Vaiki from the forensics office department if the photo album is not served to the DPP office during the course of adjournment.

Police alleged October 8, 2023 late in the evening, the deceased and some of her relatives boarded a canoe to an island called Ravi within the Marau area to sleep over for fishing during the night time.

Next day at about 8am, the deceased and two other relatives boarded another canoe to the mainland to collect food and water for the group on the island.

When they reached mainland, they dug some swamp taro, refilled some containers of water.

At about 4pm the deceased and the other girls loaded their canoe and departed for Ravi Island.

About few metres from the mainland the deceased complained that her body was not feeling good, and was afraid to go to Ravi Island, so she decided to stay back on the mainland.

The other girls left the deceased along the shore so that she could walk back home.

The deceased then left Tawanikeni village along the sea shore back to her village Kompa’u.

Prosecution alleged that it was on her way back to her home village that the accused attacked her.

A witness who was on his way along the airport that day heard a sound of a crying person. When the witness got closer to where the crying sound came from, he saw Manepania holding a bush knife in his right hand.

Manepania led the witness to where the deceased was lying unconscious then he stepped onto the deceased’s forehead and squeezed the neck of the deceased until she stopped breathing.

After that Manepania demanded and ordered the witness to take the dead body down to the sea and sink it.

The accused allegedly threatened the witness to carry out this act, saying he would cut the witness with the bush knife if he did not comply.

Police at Marau received a report of the incident on October 10, 2023, when villagers around Marau area saw the deceased’s body washed ashore in front of the Conflict Lodge.

Jonathan Auga of the Office of Director of Public Prosecution appears for the Crown.

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