BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
THREE male juveniles guilty of breaching the riot related lockdown last month have been fined $500 each.
Each were found guilty of one count of Restriction of Movement of Persons in Honiara: contrary to Regulation 5(1), (2) (a) and (b); and 9(1) of the Preservation of Public Security Regulations 2021 and section 3 of the Preservation of Public Security Act [Cap 27] and 21(a) of the Penal Code [Cap 26] were sentenced to a fine of $500.
The juveniles were charged together with 17 other adult males in relation to an incident that occurred on November 26th 2021, at around 7pm, Police arrested a group of people at the Bishop brothers, Ranadi area, in which the three juveniles were part of the group.
Principal Magistrate Felix Hollision in sentencing the accused said regulations were made for the preservation of public safety in Honiara aimed at curbing the riots, burning and looting of shops and other private businesses.
The riots and looting between the 24th and 26th of November had resulted in the scorching of more than 50 buildings and destruction of business houses.
“The total loss in which I take judicial notice of is the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) report which stated that the minimum loss is more than SBD 200,000,000 (200 million).
“Many business people which include foreigners, Solomon Islanders who are of Asian origin and indigenous people were rendered homeless because of these senseless and inhuman actions. Lives were sadly lost.
“Thus, disobeying the lockdown or curfew regulations following last three week’s riot should be treated as more serious than the usual lock downs or curfews”, Hollision said.
On November 25 2021, large groups of people started forming in east Honiara. They were then involved in the looting and burning of buildings including the Bank of South Pacific (BSP) Ranadi branch which was set on fire. The level of destruction increased throughout the day. Members of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (the Police) struggled to control the groups of people.
On 26th November 2021, the Governor General declared a curfew on the basis that it was necessary for the preservation of public security to do so, under section 3 of the Preservation of Public Security Act [Cap 27].
The curfew was in force and run between the hours of 7:00pm and 6:00am.
Office of the Director Public Prosecution appears for the crown while Stanley Taedi of the Public Solicitor’s office represents the three juveniles.