MINISTER of Aviation & Communication and Member of Parliament for Central Guadalcanal Peter Shanel has been tried in the Magistrate’s Court recently.
Closing submissions on the case will be made today.
Shanel is facing court for one count of assault causing actual bodily harm.
Prosecution has called five witnesses during the trial.
At the end of the prosecution case, Shanel’s lawyer Francis Waleilia of Tandai Lawyers made a no-case-to-answer submission on his behalf.
Principal Magistrate Fatima Taeburi however found that Shanel have a case to answer and the defence case continued.
While he did not give any evidence during his trial he called five witnesses to defend him.
The MP’s co-accused Steven Wako have already pleaded guilty to the charge and is awaiting his sentence.
The charge was in relation to an incident on 17 December, 2013 at Shanel’s Lengakiki residence in Honiara.
Prosecution alleged Shanel also involved in the attack of the Complainant.
The Complainant who is from Malaita is married to a woman from Mamasa village in Central Guadalcanal and resides there with their seven children.
Prosecution alleged that the alleged victim, his wife and seven children are registered voters of ward 19 in the Vulolo area at which Shanel is their Parliament Member.
On that day of the incident, the victim was at Shanel’s residence following a promise reportedly made by Shanel to pay $4,600 for the completion of his house at Mamasa.
According to the police allegation, the alleged victim was frustrated on that day because the promise was said to have been long overdue.
The MP allegedly promised the alleged victim that money way back in 2011.
The victim was talking loudly when Wako walked up and assaulted him causing bruises on his face.
Prosecution alleged Shanel then intervened and allegedly helped assaulted the victim. Shanel is denying the charge.
Public Prosecutor Bradley Dalipanda is prosecuting.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN