2014 Mbike shooting incident still pending hearing


THE trial concerning the Mbike shooting incident remains unresolved, as the High Court is yet to set a new trial date for the case.

Public Prosecutor John Wesley Zoze, who appeared onbehalf the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, informed the court that the case was initially under the direction of former DPP Rachel Olutimayin but is now in carriage of Prosecutor Margaret Suifaasia.

The defendants were not present during the appearance and the court has instructed the prosecution to re-summon them to appear in the next court date.

High Court Judge Justice Leonard Maina adjourned the case to December 8, 2023, for mention.

This the case of Jim Aita, Aikan Maelausia, Harrison Niumalefo, and Billy Kanakana Ringasui, are facing multiple charges, including Attempted Murder, Willful and Unlawful Damage of Property, Attempt to Destroy Property by Explosives, Possession of Firearm without Firearm License, Possession of Ammunition without Firearm License, and Discharging Firearm in Public.

The charges were in connection to an incident on December 9, 2014, at the Mbike Island resort in Gela, Central Province.

The allegation said that a group of armed men arrived at the resort in the early morning hours and fired at the Sun Express boat and the resort where 17 Members of Parliament were on a retreat. Following the gunfire, the accused purportedly set the Sun Express boat on fire, but the flames unexpectedly returned to their own boat.

It was further alleged the defendants threw containers of fuel into the sea and fled the scene. The crew of the Sun Express managed to extinguish the fire, allowing the MPs to return to Honiara in time for the Prime Minister’s election.

The accused individuals then fled from Mbike Island to the Bare Foot fuel depot and later to Honiara on a private boat. Police claim that the group burned the outboard motor canoe used in the incident to conceal its identity.

Private lawyer John Taupongi is representing all the accused, while the DPP is handling the case for the Crown.

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