20 Jul 2012

Court dismisses Niue arson case

9:25 am on 20 July 2012

Two charges of arson against a Niuean businessman have been dismissed by the Niue High Court at the end of the prosecution case heard over the past three days.

The Judge Craig Coxhead said his decision was made on the grounds of inconsistencies in the evidence.

Ian Hipa was charged on two counts of arson following three property fires in the village of Hikutavake last December.

Police alleged Mr Hipa set fire to a vacant bar and village hall at Matapa Chasm soon after his home was torched.

Before the hearing on Niue, New Zealand lawyers unsuccessfully asked the Judge to review the police evidence and dismiss the charges.