12 Oct 2007

Relief for Solomons MP acquitted on riot-related charges

5:36 pm on 12 October 2007

One of the two Solomon Islands MPs acquitted of charges related to the April 2006 riots in Honiara says he can now concentrate on serving his constituency again.

The High Court yesterday acquitted both East and Central Honiara MPs Charles Dausabea and Nelson Ne'e, who are also both in the government.

Justice David Cameron found Mr Ne'e not guilty on the charge of intimidation and he is now acquitted and discharged.

Mr Dausabea was found not guilty on the charges of inciting the riot at Parliament house and the riot to destroy buildings in China town, and also not guilty on a charge of intimidation.

Mr Ne'e says that for almost the past year he has been restricted from doing his job.

"Eight months in custody just for nothing, and then another three months going to the High Court day after day. It is a relief... after giong through this for ten months. It is an experience that I can't forget. And now I'm free to actually visit my constituency, talk to the people and actually carry on with the work that I was actually mandated to do."

Meanwhile, the acting Deputy Director of Public Prosecutor, Michael McColm, says the case for the one remaining person may not be heard until 2008.

The only person who has a charge outstanding is a bloke by the name of Robert Wale Fereatelia. He's one of the civillians who was in and around parliament house (at the time), one of the alleged instigators. That matter's in the High Court, it hasn't been listed for trial yet. If it's listed for trial I wouldn;t expect it to be until around the middle of next year.