Magistrates decline warrant of arrest application for Peter Shanel
APPLICATION for the magistrate to issue a warrant of arrest yesterday for the Police Minister was declined.
This was when the Member of Parliament for Central Guadalcanal Peter Shanel failed to show up in court for his assault case.
The court refused to issue the warrant after Shanel’s lawyer successfully argued the application.
The MP did show up in court but after his case was already mentioned.
The assault charge is in relation to an alleged assault incident in 2013, where the MP allegedly assaulted his voter at the MP’s Lengakiki home.
The case was filed and has finally been listed for yesterday. Co-accused in the assault case is Steven Ben Wako. Public Prosecutor Abel Maelanga yesterday told the court the files on the case will be transferred to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).
Mr Maelanga said transferring the files to the DPP was on protocol grounds and to avoid conflict of interest because the accused is the Police Minister.
He unsuccessfully applied for a warrant of arrest when the accused failed to show up in court.
Shanel’s lawyer Francis Waleilia of Tandai Lawyers told the court the warrant was unnecessary because such notice was only necessary for traffic offences but not on such assault offences under section 78 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
Mr Waleilia said he will arrange with his client to appear on the next date.
Shanel is facing one count of assault causing actual bodily harm in relation to the allegation on 17 December, 2013 at his Lengakiki residence in Honiara.
The alleged victim was said to be from Malaita but is married to a woman from Mamasa Village in Central Guadalcanal and resided there with their seven children.
Police 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 alleged incident, it was alleged the alleged victim was at Shanel’s residence following a promise made by Shanel to pay $4,600 for the completion of his house at Mamasa.
According to the police allegation, the alleged victim was frustrated on that day because the promise was said to have been long overdue.
The MP allegedly promised the alleged 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 intervened 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.
The prosecution has already served disclosures to the defence counsel.
Principal Magistrate Ricky Iomea adjourned the matter to 24 April.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN