3 Dec 2003

Second court appearance for Maelanga in Honiara

4:55 pm on 3 December 2003

The most senior policeman arrested under the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands has been remanded in custody for another two weeks.

Superintendent Manesseh Maelanga has appeared in court in Honiara for a second time on charges including larceny, malicious damage, demanding with menace, going armed in public, intimidation, abduction, indecent assault and rape.

Maelanga had also been a senior commander of the militant group, the Malaita Eagle Force, which overthrew the elected government in June 2000.

In applying for a further remand, the prosecutor, Chris Ryan, said Maelanga had already tried to interfere with witnesses and could continue if released on bail.

A public solicitor, Ken Averre, said Maelanga's wife had approached the alleged victim regarding a separate dispute and and had not tried to interfere with the case.

The Magistrate, Jane Hamilton-White, nevertheless warned that anybody trying to interfere with witnesses would face prosecution and possible imprisonment.

She remanded Maelanga in custody to reappear on December 17.