Acting Police Chief Mostyn Mangau says the five individuals who allegedly breached the curfew on April 10 were not detained more than 72 hours but were under the remand warrant.
Mangau made this clarification following the issue of the five individuals who were held in the cells at the Honiara Central Police Station from April 10 to April 14 when they were released on bail.
“The five were remanded in custody when they appeared before the Honiara Magistrates Court on April 11,” Mangau said.
Mangau added that they were transported to the Correctional Centre at Rove but were refused by correctional officers.
“…so we had to take them and place them in custody at the Central Police Station awaiting their time to appear before the court.
“…so there is no issue here but it is just a matter of communication between the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) and the Correctional Centre for the transfer of prisoners because they were given a remand warrant to transfer from police cells to the Correctional Centre,” he added.
Mangau explained that once that transfer was rejected by the Correctional Service, it was beyond their capacity and therefore had to return them and detain them at Watchhouse.
“…so it does not mean they are detained more than 72 hours but under the remand warrant.”
The five individuals were arrested on the night of April 10 during the first curfew that was issued by the prime minister in terms of COVID-19 precautionary measures.
They were brought to the Honiara Magistrates’ Court on Saturday where they were remanded in custody.
It was earlier heard in court that when the remand was done and remand orders were prepared, it was about 8.15 pm.
The court was later informed on Tuesday that the five accused were not remanded in Rove Correctional Centre but were kept in the cells at the Honiara Central Police Station.
Chief Magistrate Emma Garo had summoned the Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Solomon Islands (CSSI) Gabriel Manelusi to court on Tuesday to explain as to why the CSSI failed to comply with the orders of the court issued.
Manelusi said that was not brought to his attention and said he will conduct an internal investigation into this issue.
It was understood that if an order for remand is served after 7pm CSSI can lawfully refuse to accept remands.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN