Police work on arson case praised

Thursday August 08, 2019 Written by Published in Crime
Police during their investigation at the Betela Tex Mart store last year. 19080704 Police during their investigation at the Betela Tex Mart store last year. 19080704

Police Commissioner Maara Tetava has praised his investigation team in tackling the three arson fires of 2018.

 

Tetava delivered strong words of appreciation stating that this was a tremendous investigative effort in bringing the case to trial.

The case focuses on local youth David Tonorio who was 17 at the time of the offence.

After six-days of trial, the 12-member jury delivered a guilty verdict hence Tonorio was convicted for setting fire to the Friendly Mart shop in Arorangi on June 14, for setting fire to the Betela Tex Mart shop on June 22, and for setting fire to Raro Mart in Avarua on July 8, last year.

In a police statement, Tetava said: “The arson attacks devastated three business properties and spread fear and anxiety in the community last year.”

He said police investigators led by detective senior sergeant Roimata Peraua and the Cook Islands Bureau of investigation team commanded by detective inspector Areumu Ingaua spearheaded the painstaking and meticulous work.

“The team was strengthened by the involvement of Police frontline officers, who also worked tirelessly over long hours. The successful prosecution by the Crown Law Office has now reinforced their vigilant effort in the face of significant pressure and constraints.”

Tonorio faces sentencing on the three arson charges tomorrow at 1pm.

He is also expected to be sentenced on the burglary, theft and wilful damage charges.

-LL/Release

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