A committal hearing will be conducted tomorrow in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court on the case of the four of the five people accused of the Mbike Island shooting incident.
Aikan Maelausia, Harrison Niumalefo, Billy Kanakana Ringasui and Julyn Mika have appeared briefly yesterday and their matter further adjourned for the committal hearing.
A fifth accused, Jim Aita who was the first suspect to be charged for this incident was already committed to the High Court to stand trial.
All accused are facing charges of attempted murder, wilful and unlawful damage of property, attempt to destroy property by explosives, possession of firearm without firearm licence, possession of ammunition without firearm licence, discharging firearm in public, and one count of arson except for Mika whom is charged with aiding and abetting.
They have all denied the allegations against them on the previous court appearance.
The matter was brought before Principal Magistrate Shepherd Lapo yesterday for the short form preliminary but was however adjourned to tomorrow.
They are charged in relation to the allegation on the early hours on 9 December, 2014 at the Mbike Island resort in Gela, Central Province.
On the afternoon of 8 December, the Sun Express, a boat operating under the Breakwater Cafe in Honiara, transported 17 Members of Parliament to Mbike Island.
The MPs were out on a retreat ahead of the Prime Minister’s election the next day.
It was alleged that between 2am and 3am of 9 December, a group of armed men arrived at the resort in a fibreglass boat with firearms and discriminately fired at Sun Express boat and towards the resort where the elected Members of Parliament were camping.
It was alleged that soon after the gun firing, the armed men, including Aita, poured petrol at the back of Sun Express before setting it alight.
But the fire flame returned to their boat from the poured fuel.
Out of fear and danger, the men allegedly threw out two filled containers of fuel that bears the name Bare Foot on them into the sea and quickly fled the scene.
It was alleged that crew members of Sun Express boat swiftly attended to their boat and put off the fire just in time.
They inspected the fast craft and after realising it was still safe to travel in, the MPs and others at the resort boarded it back to Honiara just in time to take part in the election.
Police also alleged Aita and his group fled Mbike Island back to Bare Foot fuel depot.
It was further alleged that on about 10am later that day, Aita and other suspects were transported to Honiara on a private boat.
There, police alleged the group burned the outboard motor canoe they used in this mission for the purpose of concealing the identity of the boat, and its owner.
Prosecution alleged Mika supplied fuel to the group of men, including the three accused, who carried out the shooting at Mbike Island last December.
She was allegedly the one who looked after the Bare Foot fuel depot, which was on an island located in the Gela Group.
Maelyn Bird of Emerald Lawyers represents all accused while Public Prosecutor Florence is representing the Crown in this matter.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN