Agovaka’s verdict likely today - Solomon Star News

Agovaka’s verdict likely today

14 May 2019

RULING into the assault case of the re-elected Central Guadalcanal MP, Peter Shanel Agovakais likely to be handed down this morning.

This was after Principal Magistrate Fatima Taeburi adjourned the matter from last month to today for the ruling.

This ruling will determine whether Agovaka is guilty of the assault offence or not.

If he is found not guilty, he is likely to be acquitted or discharged.

In the event he is found guilty, a six-month jail term or above will mean Agovaka losing the Central Guadalcanal seat, which he had been occupying since 2006.

Agovaka’s matter was remitted back to the Honiara Magistrate’s Court for judgment.

This was after the Court of Appeal dismissed Agovaka’s appeal.

The MP is being charged with one count of assault causing actual bodily harm.

This was in relation to an allegation on 17 December 2013 at his Lengakiki residence in Honiara.

Ms Taeburi presided over Agovaka’s trial before the Central Guadalcanal MP decided to appeal the matter to the High Court and later, the Court of Appeal.

Agovaka is co-accused with Steven Wako, who already pleaded guilty to the charge and awaiting his sentence.

Prosecution alleged Agovaka attacked one of his voters who called in at his residence to enquire about constituency funding.

Before the trial proceeded in his matter in the Magistrates’ Court, Agovaka lodged an application to strike out the entire court proceedings.

This was on grounds that it was not properly instituted.

His lawyer, Francis Waleilia of Tandai Lawyers, had submitted that the proceedings were instituted in the wrong form, thus was misleading and was an abuse of court.

Ms Taeburi however, dismissed the appeal and ordered trial to proceed.

But at the end of the trial, Agovaka’s lawyer filed an appeal to the High Court against the order by Ms Taeburi.

On appeal, Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer dismissed Agovaka’s application and ordered that the matter be remitted back to the Magistrates’ Court for judgment.

Just about when the judgement was to be delivered, Agovaka decided to go straight to the Court of Appeal against the chief justice’s ruling.

Public Prosecutor Bradley Dalipanda is prosecuting.