27 Sep 2003

Four Keke supporters charged with murder

8:37 am on 27 September 2003

Four associates of rebel leader Harold Keke, have appeared in court in Honiara charged with murder.

The four Guadalcanal men surrendered themselves to police on the Weather Coast on Thursday following ongoing investigations and negotiations.

It's understood the murder charges relate to the killing of the Melanesian Brothers who travelled to the Weather Coast to broker peace with Keke earlier this year.

Their court appearance came amidst public speculation in Honiara that former Malaita Eagle Force commander, Jimmy Rasta had been detained for questioning by police from the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.

The RAMSI office confirmed that Rasta did speak with police on Thursday but denied that he had been arrested.

Our correspondent in Honiara says there is simmering disquiet among some Solomon Islanders that to date, RAMSI has arrested and charged a number of former Guadalcanal militants, while known former Malaitan militants who continued to engage in criminal activity in recent years have not been apprehended.