Trial on betel-nut case against 11 women continues today

BY ROMINAH FAKA

Trial against 11 women accused of breaking the law by selling betel-nut at Maromaro on December 7 last year began yesterday at the magistrate court.

It continued this morning.

Honiara City Council prosecution told court yesterday it will call a total of eight witnesses.

The 11 accused had pleaded not-guilty to the charge of breaching a betel-nut free-zone ordinance.

Yesterday prosecution called three witnesses who testified under oath.

The first two witnesses are law enforcement officers.

During examination both witnesses said the Prince Philip highway started from Kukum area to King Geroge area, Maromaro included, meaning it is a public area and the accused had breached the HCC betel-nut free zone ordinance.

Defence asked both witnesses if they had issued receipts to the suspects when they arrested them and confiscated their betel nuts and leaf.

Both witnesses admitted to the court that they did not issue any receipt and that they had taken all the goods to the central watch house.

There they took a photo of all the betel nut bags and labelled it, but then destroyed the betel-nuts because they were goods that did not last long.

Defence then asked the witnesses about the money they took from few of the accused which was never returned.

Both witnesses told court they are not aware of that money.

Court adjourned for the trial to continue today.

Bail for the accused were extended.

Ambrose Motui of HCC act for crown and Feriel Taki of HOF Law Chambers represent all the defendants.

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