TWO teenage boys have denied setting fire to the leaf hut next to the National Parliament building during the unrest in November last year.
The 16-year-old and 17-year-old boys are charged with arson but pleaded not guilty to the charge on Friday last week.
Having heard their not guilty plea, Chief Magistrate Emma Garo adjourned their case for a pre-trial conference to be heard in the magistrate’s court today.
The court heard that on 24th November 2021, the two boys were part of a group of people who entered the National Parliament area.
Earlier that day the group was gathering at the back gate of the National Parliament area at Point Cruz, protesting the Prime Minister to step down.
Police was deployed to control the situation but protestors got angry and started behaving aggressively.
The protestors started throwing rocks at police and when police responded the protestors broke through the parliament’s back gate and ran towards the National Parliament building.
The court heard that protestors scattered as they ran towards the parliament building and it was at that time that the two juveniles walked towards the leaf hut and set fire to it using matches.
After setting the leaf hut on fire, the boys escaped but were later arrested.
The unrest in Honiara continued for three days and resulted in looting, burning of buildings and violence.
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN