Record of interview was fair: Court

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THE court has ruled that the record of interview on a man accused of faking his own death to obtain thousands of dollars from a local pharmacy was carried out fairly.

The accused, Peter Fakaia recently challenged the record of interview done on him, claiming it was conducted unfairly and the copy of Record of Interview (ROI) as not the one he signed.

During the trial, the crown called two police officers who conducted the ROI and found the evidence given by the crown witnesses were consistent.  

The court then ruled that the crown had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and the officers conducted the ROI fairly.

Therefore, the record of Interview was admitted as part of the Crown evidence for trial proper with the case adjourned to 30 March 2021 for setting of a new trial date.

Mr Fakaia was accused of faking his own death and obtaining $76,000 from a local pharmacist in Honiara in 2019.

He is facing trial on three counts of false pretences relating to the allegations that occurred between 21 and 26 September 2019 in Honiara.

The Prosecution said the accused sought medication from the People’s Pharmacy at the Kwaimani building in Kukum.

 After taking his medication he then left, however on the next day he returned to the pharmacy complaining he had allergies with the medication.

He was then given another medication and was advised to see a doctor.

On 23 September at about 8 am, the complainant received a call through his office phone by a person who allegedly purported himself as the accused’s brother-in-law.

The complainant was informed by the accused’s brother-law that the accused he diagnosed died at the National Referral Hospital and is at the morgue.

The accused’s brother-in-law then allegedly demanded a compensation of $10, 000 for the cause of the death.

The complainant in total allegedly gave $76,000 to the so-called relatives of the accused for his alleged death.

It was on 26 September that police were alerted about the incident and arrested a person who came to collect the last portion of money requested for the accused’s death.

Using the alleged associates; police finally arrested the accused after halting him in his vehicle at the Ranadi Roundabout.

Private lawyer Ben Etomea represents Fakaia, while the Public Prosecutor Jonathan Auga is prosecuting the case in court.