31 Jan 2005

Keke trial for Geve killing underway in Honiara

5:13 pm on 31 January 2005

The former Solomon Islands militant leader Harold Keke and two of his commanders have pleaded not guilty to murdering the Cabinet Minister Father Augustine Geve in August 2002.

Our Honiara correspondent Dorothy Wickham is at the court.

"Keke, who sat smiling through the opening remarks by the Opposition, also is to face trial for around five other murders. Two other members of his militant group, his second in comander Ronnie Cawa and Francis Lela, are also being charged with the murder.The prosecution allege that Keke tricked Fr Geve into meeting him on the Weathercoast and then shot him in front of a whole village. This afternoon the prosecution began calling its first witnesses in a trial expected to last four weeks."