Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) has commended the Public Prosecutions for filing an appeal against the decision of a magistrate to acquit MP for Central Guadalcanal of the assault causing actual bodily harm charge.
In a statement to this paper, TSI said this case has taken so long and went from Magistrates’ Court to Appeal Court and back again to Magistrates’ Court for sentencing.
“Magistrate Taeburi having taken this long was probably not a surprise to many, whilst taking many more probably by surprise,” TSI said in the statement.
It also stated that Agovaka’s co-accused pleaded guilty to the charge assault causing bodily harm in 2015 but he too was fined.
“Several questions can be raised such as “is there any point in bringing any charges against any member of parliament to the courts, where can those who were wronged go to report these cases or is there any point in reporting it at all.
“Moreover, Magistrate Taeburi’s sentencing remarks should be sending a shudder down everyone’s backbone.
“Is the Magistrate Court through this sentencing advocating that “should anyone aggravates another, is drunk, shouting loudly, making demands and causing disturbances it is okay in law to beat him up as the two that were acquitted did”?
“The question that we should now properly examine with regard to how the courts hand down their sentencing is “should the two accused be anyone else they will already be found guilty and sent to prison.
“They are not anyone ordinary but a member of parliament and his co-accused they probably will be in prison now”.
“The acquittal of Agovaka and his co-accused are not the issue here.
“The Magistrate decision and its implication and the message it sends out that should be of concern to all Solomon Islanders.
“It is for this reason that Transparency Solomon commends the Prosecution for appealing the decision,” TSI further stated.