A FIFTH suspect into the Mbike Island shooting has been arrested recently, but released on bail yesterday in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court.
Aikan Maelausia was released on a cash bail of $5,000 with strict bail conditions.
His surety was also ordered to enter into a principal bail of $2,000.
He faces charges of attempted murder, willful and unlawful damage of property, attempt to destroy property by explosives, possession of firearm without firearm license, possession of ammunition without firearm license, discharging firearm in public, and one count of arson.
Earlier in court yesterday, the cases of the three accused, Julyn Mika, Harrison Niumalefo and Billy Kanakana Ringasui were also mentioned.
The case of the first accused, alleged to be the boat skipper, Jim Aita, was committed to the High Court for trial.
Maelyn Bird, who represents all the accused, applied for bail for Niumalefo and Ringasui. The prosecution did not object.
Both men were also released on a cash bail of $5,000 each with each of their sureties to enter into principal bail of $2,000.
They will appear again in court on 21 October.
All accused are facing similar charges except Mika who faces one count of aiding and abetting.
Prosecution alleged Mika supplied fuel to the group of men, including the three accused, who carried out the shooting at Mbike island last December.
Police alleged Mika looked after the Bare Foot fuel depot, which was on an island located in the Gela Group.
The fuel depot is owned by the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Malaita Jimmy Lusibaea.
It was alleged that between 2am and 3am of 9 December, a group of armed men arrived at the resort in a fiberglass boat with firearms and discriminately fired at Sun Express boat and towards the resort.
On the afternoon of 8 December, the Sun Express, a boat operating under the Breakwater Cafe in Honiara, transported the 17 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 returned to their boat from the poured fuel.
Out of fear and danger, the men allegedly threw out two filled containers of fuel that bears the name Bare Foot on them into the sea and quickly fled the scene.
It was alleged that 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 also alleged Aita and his group fled Mbike Island back to Bare Foot fuel depot.
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 suspects were transported to Honiara on a private boat.
Public Prosecutor Nelson Dhita is prosecuting the case.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN