Men deny instigating November riot

Police officers tirelessly working to bring the riots under control. PHOTO: Mavis N Podokolo
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THREE men accused of being instigators of last year’s November riots have pleaded not guilty to 10 charges against them.

Simon Mannie, John Kwaita and Knoxly Atu, after they entered not guilty pleas, had their case adjourned for the next 14 days for a pre-trial hearing on the matter.

The trio are facing charges of managing unlawful society, one count of sedition, two counts of unlawful assembly and seven count of arson.

Prosecution alleged that between August 1 and November 26, 2021 the trio managed an unlawful society namely Malaita 4 Democracy (M4D), and they are planning to protest against the Prime Minister.

Prosecution said the accused men are leaders and active members of Malaita for Democracy (M4D) and represent Honiara-based Malaitans, and were involved in unlawful planning of unauthorised public assembly that led to the November riot in Honiara.

Prosecution alleged what they planned and instigated has been executed in which the public procession had occurred that resulted in arson, and destruction of business buildings, looting of shops and burning of Kukum Traffic Centre and damage to Naha Police Station.

Public Prosecutor Nickson Tonowane is appearing for the crown on the case.