Alleged gunman released on bail - Solomon Star News

Alleged gunman released on bail

28 March 2020
Damaged caused to a bus by a bullet. [Photo: Joe Au Ramosaea/Facebook]

THE man who has been arrested and charged for the alleged discharge of a firearm at Tinge Ridge, West Honiara has been released on a $5,000 cash bail in court on Thursday afternoon.

Mostyn Maenu’u Jnr also known as “Puff” is facing one count of discharge of a firearm in a public place.

He is co-accused with Joseph Wale who faces a charge of malicious damage.

Following the strict bail conditions, a curfew has been imposed on them from 6.30 pm to 6 am.

They appeared in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court on Thursday and the prosecution applied for a 14-day remand application.

Some of the grounds submitted by the prosecution are of re-offending, absconding and that investigation is still ongoing.

Lawyer representing the two accused however asked the court to release his clients on bail as there is no evidence his clients will abscond or re-offend whilst on bail.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Ricky Iomea having heard from both counsels granted bail for the two accused.

Mr. Iomea said an ongoing investigation is not a ground for refusing bail.

“Having considered the Crown’s submission and defence, I am of the view that the application is refused,” Mr. Iomea said.

“The crown has not established any evidence that the defendants will abscond or re-offend.

“I am not satisfied that they will abscond,” Mr. Iomea added.

He said he is of the view that strict bail conditions will alleviate any risks.

The strict bail conditions restricted them from interfering with the police investigation and prosecution witnesses.

They must also not re-offend whilst on bail.

Both of them are to report to the Central Police Station twice a week.

The alleged incident happened at about midday on March 22 at Tinge, as a result of an ongoing disagreement between two communities at Tinge.

The prosecution alleged that following retaliations between those two groups, Mostyn allegedly discharged the firearm.

No one was injured at that time but the damage was caused to a bus owned by the other group which was parked outside.

Acting Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau at the commissioner’s weekly conference on Thursday said the cell that was available to police is that of a 9mill caliber only used for sidearms or a pistol.

He, however, could not confirm the type of firearm as the firearm was not available to police.

He added that the group that the suspect discharged the firearm at was not happy with him.

 “There was some retaliation between those groups and as a result, on Sunday the suspect came and discharged the firearm.

“No one was injured but damage was caused to a bus owned by the group which was parked outside,” he said.

Police were called to attend to the incident and following an investigation, the suspect was arrested.

The suspect who is being placed in police custody is yet to be charged.

Mr. Mangau appealed to the community at Tinge Ridge to come forward and assist the police in this investigation.