16 Jul 2005

Solomon Islands court defers decision on trial of five over bank attack

8:18 am on 16 July 2005

The High Court in Solomon Islands has delayed a ruling on whether five men charged of attempting to murder a bank manager are covered by the gun amnesty stemming from the Townsville Peace Agreement of 2000.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reports Justice Edwin Goldsborough had been expected to rule yesterday on whether the trial of the five men should go ahead.

However, he told the court he wanted to hear further legal argument on the matter.

Crown prosecutor, Rob Barry said there were no guidelines on how the issue should be dealt with.

The court is expected to deal with the matter again when it resumes on Tuesday morning.

All five accused, Jimmy Lusibaea, Alick Fefele, John Kiki, Rex Ila and Lemuel Kwaimani have pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, grievous bodily harm and conspiracy to murder.

Mr Fefele faces an additional charge of intimidation.

The charges relate to an incident in May 2000, when the five allegedly burst into the branch of a bank in the capital, Honiara, and attacked the manager, Moses Garu.