THE man accused of the Mbike Island shooting, Central Province last year is seeking to vary one of his bail conditions.
He appeared on Monday in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court and his matter was further adjourned to Monday next week.
This is to allow the prosecution and defence to come with an agreement to vary the bail conditions.
Jim Aita is seeking to reduce the days of his reporting bail condition.
He is currently required to report to the Naha Police Station three times a week. He wanted that reduced to twice a week.
Aita was accused of the shooting at Mbike Island resort on 9 December 2014.
He is facing three counts of attempted murder, one count of willful and unlawful damage to property, one count of attempt to destroy property by explosives, one count of possess firearm without firearm licence, one count of possess of ammunition without firearm licence, discharging firearm in public and one count of arson.
Police alleged Aita was the skipper of the outboard motor canoe used during that shooting.
He was also accused of firing a gun at the boat used to transport 17 MPs to the Mbike island resort earlier in the day.
It was alleged that between 2am and 3am December 2014, 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.
On the afternoon of that day, a boat operating under the Breakwater Cafe in Honiara known as Sun Express, transported 17 Member of Parliament (MPs) to Mbike Island.
The MPs were out on a retreat ahead of the Prime Minister’s election the next day.
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 however returned to their boat from the poured fuel.
Out of fear and danger, the men allegedly threw out two filled containers of fuel into the sea and quickly fled the scene.
It was revealed the 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 for travel, the MPs and others at the resort boarded it back to Honiara just in time to take part in the election.
Police alleged their investigation found Aita was the one who took charge of the boat for the mission and one who discharged the firearm.
He was also identified by a witness as the one who poured the containers of petrol inside the Sun Express boat before setting it alight.
Police also alleged Aita and his group fled Mbike Island back to Bare Foot, an island located in the Gela Group, which was also owned by Mr Lusibaea.
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.
It was further alleged that on about 10am of December 9, Aita and other five suspects, whom police are yet to identify, were transported to Honiara on a private boat.
Aita denied any involvement when police interviewed him.
Police believed the motive for the shooting was to destroy Sun Express and stopped it from returning the MPs back to Honiara in time for the election.
At that time, the battle between the two groups vying to form the next government was fierce.
MPs who were targeted in this incident returned in time to elect their candidate, Manasseh Sogavare, to be the next Prime Minister.
Police Commissioner Frank Prendergast had earlier informed the public that they will be arresting some more suspects into the Mbike Shooting.
However, no further arrests have yet been made.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN