17 Jul 2012

Arson trial to begin today in Niue

10:22 am on 17 July 2012

A Niuean man facing two charges of arson stands trial in the High Court at Niue today.

Electrician Ian Hipa, the brother of the island's secretary to the government, has pleaded not guilty to the charges following the destruction of two buildings in the village of Hikutavake.

Mr Hipa is represented by Samoan barrister Romero Toilioga and New Zealand police sergeant Paul Watkins is leading the prosecution.

Before the trial began the judge and both parties visited the village to inspect the location and surroundings where the alleged offences took place.

And in an unusual move Court staff posted a notice preventing the filming, recording or reporting of the case.

The matter is down to be heard over three days.