Victim speaks of how his hand was sliced at crowded food bar
IT was a daylight senseless criminal act.
A prominent chief and tribal leader from Rennell arrived last Saturday in Honiara from his home village and landed in hospital the same day.
His arm was sliced with a sharp knife when he was having lunch at Kingsley Food Bar in the heart of Point Cruz.
The brave criminals walked up towards him and chopped his arm with a long knife in the crowded food bar
“The cut went right through the bone,” an eye witness said.
Poly Tepai was discharged on Tuesday this week after having surgery to reattach his arm.
Mr Tepai was approached by the Solomon Star yesterday and although he refused to have his photo taken, willingly spoke about why he believed Samlinsam logging company is behind the attack
“I have no problem with anyone, except the logging issue back home,” he said.
“Samlinsam logging company is one of the logging firms that never listen to anybody.
“Recently, we work with another logging firm operating in Rennell and I believe this was the cause.
“I was told by police two suspects were already apprehended and they already spoke about being paid by a Chinese to carry out the criminal act.”
He said the matter is now before the courts, so he would not divulge further details.
The Solomon Star also spoke to a man close to those who allegedly carried out the act.
The youth, who asked not to be named, revealed how the suspects were drunk after successfully executing their mission and admitting they were paid to carry out the criminal act.
“When news that a chief in Rennell was knifed by some unknown thugs, the boys who resided up at Lunga, drunkenly boasted about how they were paid to execute the mission.”
The youth said according to the men, they were paid $15,000 to not kill, but only to chop-off the man’s arm or leg.
“After the admission, police were tipped and two were arrested.”
A police officer with the CID unit confirmed the arrests, adding two other Samlinsam logging company officers are in custody.
Another close relative told the Solomon Star, Mr Tepai was picked up on arrival at Henderson domestic terminal around 10am on Saturday and headed straight to Kingsley for a meal.
“The men (suspects) must have trailed him from the airport.
“They escaped in a car after cutting Mr Tepai’s arm. They came up to where Mr Tepai was eating with two other friends, hacked the knife into his arm and went away. It happened very quickly.
“It is funny how the boys from another province who knew nothing about Mr Tepai chose to be their prey amongst the crowd.”
Mr Tepai said he was glad to be discharged but wanted the matter properly investigated and have maximum punishment exerted on those who executed the mission and those behind it.
He added that he is happy that the new police commissioner is neutral because those allegedly behind the attack were known for bribing police officers and government officials.
“So far, I am happy with investigations because I was told suspects were already arrested and two members of Samlinsam logging company were also in custody.”
A relative of Mr Tepai said those behind the attack must be punished and exposed.
“We are frustrated but we are not going to take the law into our hands therefore want to see justice prevail as soon as possible.”
By EDNAL PALMER