Owner of the Samlimsam logging company Pau Kiu Den and three other locals who were accused of the senseless attack of a Renbel Chief at the Kingsley Food bar in November last year with a knife in relation to a logging dispute denied the allegations made out against them.
Malaysian Den and Malatians Buddley Fakani, Frank Fakani and Ben Alami had entered not guilty pleas to the charge of attempted murder on Friday in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court.
Their matter was then listed for a committal hearing on March 9, where a long form preliminary inquiry will be conducted.
Any other issues raised would have to be sorted out before the inquiry date.
It would be after the hearing that the court can decide as to whether the matter will be committed to the High Court for trial or dismissed.
A long form preliminary inquiry will see witnesses testifying in court unlike a short form preliminary inquiry which only required tendering of documents.
The four men were accused of the alleged incident that occurred in the heart of the city on November 8, last year.
Police alleged the three locals were conspired by Den to attack the alleged victim.
The alleged victim Poly Tepai was having his meal with another Asian and a local when the accused Alami allegedly came from behind and hacked him with a 60 centimetre-long knife.
He flew in from his village into Honiara on the morning of November 8 and made his way from the airport to Kingsley when he was attacked.
Tepai nearly lost his left hand but doctors were however able to save his hand and life.
Prosecution alleged after the incident, the trio escaped in a get-away car which was allegedly driven by Frank.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN