Murder suspect in death of young girl on New Year pleads not guilty


Zane Taisia Gegeu has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and one count of driving without valid licence before Principal Magistrate Fatimah Taeburi.

Mr Gegeu allegedly murdered a young girl on the morning of January 1 this year by driving a vehicle and hitting her head-on at the Supreme Casino carpark.

Gegeu is also charged with assault causing bodily harm, related to an incident which reportedly occurred prior to the alleged murder incident. He also pleaded not guilty to this.

Prosecutor John Wesley Zoze submitted to the court the crown’s committal deposition documents regarding the murder case and the defence counsel elected a short-form Preliminary Inquiry (PI) for the committal hearing ruling.

Prosecution also submitted to the court a submission with regards to the evidence for the court to consider.

However, Gegeu’s defence argued that the matter should not be committed to the high court because defence claims that the prosecution’s evidence are hearsay therefore not sufficient for committal.

Court adjourned for March 12 for ruling on the committal deposition short- form (PI) on whether there is sufficient evidence for the magistrate court to commit the matter to the High Court for Gegeu to stand trial or not.

Meanwhile, trial against Gegeu’s assault charge is set for April 15.

Gegeu’s co-accused in the assault case, Brendon Kakai successfully had his charge reduced from assault causing bodily harm to common assault to which he pleaded guilty.

Court extended Kakai’s bail to April 5 and remand warrant was extended for Gegeu for March 12.

Allegations of the two cases are as follows:

Regarding the assault charge, it was alleged that on January 1 this year, early in the morning, Gegeu and Kakai assaulted the complainant without any lawful reason.

Prosecution alleged that Gegeu took a bottle of Solbrew and hit the complainant’s head with it, causing blood to come off from the complainant’s forehead.

The complainant went and reported the matter to police the next day.

Regarding the charge of murder and driving without valid licence, prosecution alleged that Gegeu between 3 – 5am on January 1, 2024, drove a vehicle through the Supreme Casino second boom gate known to be the Eastern side and then made a quick turn heading back in the westly direction at a very high speed.

Allegation said the accused drove straight towards a group of girls, including the deceased.

When the group of girls saw the vehicle running straight towards them, they jumped trying to avoid the oncoming vehicle.

But, the deceased was hit by the vehicle.

Allegations said after the accused hit the victim, he reversed the vehicle and escaped out of the Supreme Casino area.

The deceased was transported to the National Referral Hospital (NRH) where she was later pronounced dead.

The accused was arrested and charged with murder and driving without valid licence.

John Wesley Zoze from Public Prosecution Office act for the Crown and Lazurus Waroka of PSO act for Zane Taisia Gegeu and Ron Pulekera of PSO act for Brenden Kakai.

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