A PRE-TRIAL conference will be conducted next on the case of the Police Minister Peter Shanel after he pleaded not guilty to the assault charge against him, on Thursday.
The Member for Parliament for Central Guadalcanal entered a not guilty plea to one count of assault causing actual bodily harm when he appeared in the Central Magistrate’s Court.
His co-accused Steven Ben Wako did not enter a plea as his lawyer because his lawyer was attending to another matter in the High Court.
Both men will return to court on June 4.
Principal Magistrate Ricky Iomea ordered the prosecution is to provide all disclosures before the next appearance in relation to Wako’s case.
In the case of Shanel, both prosecution and the defence counsel were asked to discuss and finalise the pre-trial conference checklist before the next date so that the proceeding can go ahead that day.
Before taking his plea, the prosecution asked the court to impose bail conditions for the MP as he was only bailed on recognizance by the police.
His lawyer Francis Waleilia of Tandai Lawyers however, objected to that application saying his client is faithfully attending his court cases, there is no flight risk, and that it would be harsh on his client.
But Mr Iomea however, said there is a need for a bail condition imposed because his client was only released on a recognizance bail of $500 by police to appear on the first court appearance.
He said for him to continue appearing in court there is a need for bail conditions.
Mr Iomea said the court is satisfied there is no flight risk for the accused but will however imposed two bail conditions.
These are a principal bail of $1,000 and for the accused to inform court if he is to leave the country.
In light of the second bail condition, Mr Waleilia informed the court his client will leave for Tonga in the evening to attend a Police Conference.
He will return a week later.
Shanel and Wako are accused of assaulting a man at his Lengakiki home, 17 December 2013.
The alleged victim who is from Malaita is married to a woman from Mamasa village in Central Guadalcanal and resides there with their seven children.
Prosecution alleged that the alleged victim, his wife and seven children are registered voters of ward 19 in the Vulolo area at which Shanel was their Parliament Member.
On that day of the incident, it was alleged the victim was at Shanel’s residence following up on a promise made by Shanel to pay $4,600 for the completion of his house at Mamasa.
According to the police allegation, the victim was frustrated on that day because the promise was said to have been long overdue.
The MP allegedly promised the victim that money way back in 2011.
It was alleged that he was talking loudly when suddenly Shanel’s co-accused Wako punched him on his forehead and left eye causing bruises.
Shanel then allegedly stepped in and punched the victim on his left ear causing bleeding to the ear.
It was further alleged that the MP then held on to the alleged victim’s back-pack, pulled him towards him and kicked the alleged victim on his legs, which resulted in the victim allegedly falling on the ground.
Whilst on the ground, police alleged Shanel kicked him several times on his face with his left leg.
Shanel allegedly wore official boots at that time.
The matter was then reported to police by the alleged victim.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN