HOT BREAD’ BECOMES HOT POTATO IN SOLOMONS TRIAL

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‘HOT BREAD’ BECOMES HOT POTATO IN SOLOMONS TRIAL

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept. 28) – The owner of Hot Bread Kitchen in Honiara, Solomon Islands, has urged the prosecution to stop using his business’s name as a pseudo for witnesses.

It was revealed in court Tuesday that two witnesses who will give evidence against Charles Dausabea would be appearing as "Hot Bread 1" and Hot Bread 2." This followed a landmark ruling in which identity of the witnesses in the case would be kept secret.

But Roland Timo, owner of the shop, told the Solomon Star yesterday he was not happy with the use of his business name.

"Hot Bread is the name of my business. We have nothing to do with this case. So why should the prosecution or the police use my business name as cover for these witnesses? Isn’t this a violation of copy right?" Timo asked.

He urged the police and prosecution to withdraw the use of his business name.

"There are lots of names that they can use to protect the identity of the witnesses. Hot Bread is not only the name in the world so that they can pick on," Timo said.

He also questions why those who want to appear as witnesses insisted on hiding their identity.

"I would have thought that if the witnesses are telling the truth, they should just come forward and tell the court rather than hiding under pseudo names," he said.

Timo added that he feared the use of his business name would be interpreted wrongly by the accused and his relatives.

"My fear is the accused may think that Hot Bread Kitchen is supporting the case against him. We are not. In fact we are basically an innocent company doing our best to provide a service to the public."

Timo said he was seeking legal clarification on this issue.

"I don’t want my company name used in the courts and published in the newspaper for no reasons at all. This is my property right and no one, even the police, should be at liberty to use my company name for their own purpose," Timo said.

Besides the use of Hot Bread, another witness is using Chinatown as a pseudo name.

The witnesses say they are prepared to give evidence only if their identities are not disclosed.

After a magistrate granted their request on Tuesday, a witness using the name Chinatown gave evidence from the seclusion of one of the rooms within the High Court building.

Dausabea, the MP for East Honiara, was accused of inciting the April riots, threat and intimidation.

September 29, 2006

Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com/

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