Marau murder case first call-over at High Court on June 28

BY ROMINAH FAKA

The case against a man accused of killing a girl at Marau in October last year was mentioned in the Magistrate court yesterday for extension of the remand warrant of the accused.

Magistrate Dalcy Belapitu Oligari made directions for the matter to be first call-over at High Court on June 28 at 1.30pm.

Constance Manepania is charged with one count of murder to which he pleaded not guilty, and a committal deposition was filed in court where court found there was sufficient evidence to commit the matter to the High court trial.

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.

Paul Fanasia of DPP appears for the Crown and Delilah Kukura of PSO appears for Manepania.

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