By Gary Hatigeva
POLICE have ruled out claims of foulplay into the death of a man from Shortland Islands and Bougainville in Noro, Western Province early this month.
Police Commissioner Mathew Varley revealed this during his weekly press conference with the Media in Honiara yesterday.
Over the past days, police have been dealing with what they describe as a very significant case involving a large group of Bougainvillean men who went to Maleae village in Shortland Islands, responding to concerns that the death was suspicious and a result of foulplay.
“We have worked very hard with our local police in the Shortlands and with local chiefs and elders who are part of that community to engage in extensive negations to explain the police investigation into the man’s death.”
Some of that group of men from Bougainville were relatives and family members of the deceased and many of them expressed that they were unhappy with police investigation and there was a continued believe that there was a foulplay into the course of his death.
However, Mr Varley clarified to local journalists that police in Noro have been investigating that death since the incident occurred.
He said the investigation team were pushed to do a very thorough job because of the allegation of the suspicious death.
The investigations into that case has also been supported and since reviewed through officers from the National Criminal Investigation Division (NCSID) serious crime squad and that is because of a lot of rumours and community concerns circulating that the man’s death was a result of foulplay.
The Police Commissioner however stressed that at this point all of the investigations into the death case at the moment, from start up to now have always indicated that this was a tragic accident.
“We have obtained numerous statements including from three eyewitnesses who were there at that time, who saw that the deceased man accidently fell over and struck his head on a rock.”
He said following the accident, according to consistent statements, the body of the deceased man was cared for and was taken to a medical clinic where he was pronounced dead by a nurse.
“Soon afterwards the relatives of the deceased claimed his body and took him for traditional burial before any post mortem examination could be done.
“But that said, the police conducted a very thorough investigation and on all the evidences to date the best determination of our serious crimes squad investigators and our police officers in Noro is that there’s no foul play in this death and that indeed, it was a tragic accident,” Varley explained.