Murder charge dropped, assault charge filed
THE prosecution has dropped the murder charge against a Malaysian and a local man in relation to the death of a man on New Year’s Day in Rennell, Renbell Province.
Kelvin Wayne and a local John Vendi are now facing the charge of assault causing actual bodily harm.
Public Prosecutor Jonathan Auga also informed the court that they had also explained to the deceased’s relatives the reasons behind the reduction of the murder charge.
He had earlier told court that the reason for dropping the murder charge was because the cause of death did not support the charge.
The lawyers representing the two accused was at the High Court yesterday and therefore did not appear for this matter.
He however left instructions with his colleague that once the prosecution confirmed their position regarding the charge then he will take instructions for plea.
Principal Magistrate Felix Hollison therefore adjourned the matter to July 11 for plea.
This matter relates to an incident that occurred on 1 January this year at a logging camp on Rennell Island.
Prosecution alleged the two accused and the deceased involved in a fight with each other following an argument between them.
After the incident, the deceased returned to his home but was found dead at around 1pm and 2pm on that same day by relatives.
The matter was reported to the police which resulted in the arrest of the two accused for murder.
Following the outcome of the autopsy the murder charge is now dropped and the duo now facing a lesser charge.
Prosecution to confirm reconciliation in assault case
THE man who is now facing a lesser charge of assault after it was reduced from murder will return to court on July 20.
Paulson Sali is facing one count of assault causing actual bodily harm, of which, he pleaded guilty to on a previous court date.
He was initially charged with one count of murder.
This followed the death of a man after a fight occurred between him and Sali following an argument about a constituency-funded boat and engine.
The incident happened on 25 December 2021 at Komboli in East Guadalcanal.
However, after reviewing and assessing the evidence on the case file, the prosecution withdrew the murder charge substituting it instead with the charge of assault.
The sentencing submissions and mitigation on this matter were already completed.
The only outstanding issue in this matter is for the prosecution to confirm with the deceased’s party whether a reconciliation was conducted between the two parties.
Sali had informed the court in his mitigation through his lawyer that a reconciliation was conducted.
However, the prosecution was not aware of any report of a reconciliation, hence the need for it to check with the deceased’s party for confirmation.
When the matter returns on July 20, the court will hear from the prosecution if the reconciliation was conducted or not.