Ruling on strike-out application, tomorrow
THE Ruling on an application made to strike out the case of a man accused of posting false rumours about COVID-19 on Facebook will be made tomorrow.
Peterson Boso, 44, is facing one count of spreading false rumours contrary to section 63(a) of the Penal Code.
His lawyer had made an application to strike out the case in the Honiara Magistrates’ Court due to the delay of the trial.
Prosecution, on the other hand, is asking the court to refuse the application.
Trial on this matter had started on June 19 before Principal Magistrate Tearo Beneteti.
Two of the five prosecution witnesses gave evidence on that day.
From then until now, the prosecution still has three witnesses more testify in the trial.
However, that is yet to be done as the prosecutor in this matter went to the province on a court circuit and was also reportedly sick on his return.
Boso was charged and arrested after he allegedly posted on his Facebook page “Soreboko” false breaking news about four confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country.
The country, however, does not record any positive case of the deadly disease.
The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has also issued warnings to all Solomon Islands citizens not to spread or initiate false rumours or misleading information that are not true about coronavirus in the country.
Boso however on 12 March 2020 allegedly posted on his Facebook page that it was confirmed in one ward at National Referral Hospital at 1.20 pm that out of the total quarantined four are confirmed and kept at Henderson area.
The prosecution alleged that not long after Boso allegedly posted the false news about 53 people commented asking him where he got his facts from but he did not reply to their comments.
It was alleged that those who received that information began to panic and worry about their families and relatives in town and some even messaged their relatives working at the hospital to confirmed that story.
The prosecution further alleged that the breaking news of the coronavirus posted by the accused has caused and imputed fear, panic, nervousness and worry among the general public.
Police later followed up with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services about the accused’s post but were told that there were no confirmed cases of coronavirus.
On March 20, police invited the accused to the police station where he was formally arrested and charged for this offence.
Private lawyer Ronald Dive is representing Boso while Police Prosecutor John Palmer appeared for the Crown.
Trial set for man who abuses wife
TRIAL dates on the matter of a man accused of psychologically abusing his wife over an extra-marital affair has been fixed on Wednesday.
The accused is facing trial for one count of domestic violence- psychological abuse under the Family Protection Act.
Principal Magistrate Tearo Beneteti had set the trial to start on September 14 and continue through to September 18.
It was alleged that on February 20, the accused’s wife told duty officers at the White River Police Post in West Honiara to call her husband to come to the police post.
This is to sort out a problem between them and another girl that the accused allegedly had an affair with.
The girl is a cousin of the accused’s wife.
The accused however did not answer his phone.
The accused later called his wife and his wife told him to come to the police post to sort out the problem.
The accused’s wife also told the accused that the girl he had an affair with was also at the station.
He however allegedly texted his wife using threatening, abusive and insulting words to her.
The accused’s wife felt bad about those texts and therefore reported the matter to the police.
Public Solicitor’ lawyer Tracy Aisa is representing the accused while Ethel Mae’ue is appearing for the Crown.
Unlicensed motor vehicle, driver concern
THE most frequent traffic offences before the Honiara Magistrates’ Court is one of using unlicensed motor vehicle and driver without a driver’s licence, according to a Honiara Magistrate.
Principal Magistrate Leonard Chite made this sentiment yesterday when imposing a $3,000 fine each to two men who had confessed to these traffic offences, Wednesday.
“There have been countless warnings provided by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), other non-government and government organisations on the need to have a valid motor vehicle and driver’s licence.
“Yet, the offence is still categorised as one of the most frequent charge coming before the Magistrate’s Court,” Chite said.
Chite added that drivers and vehicle owners need to understand the obligation on their part to make sure that such laws are not easily flouted by non-compliant individuals who wish to cheat the system in earning income without paying for the necessary fees and requirements attached thereto.
Timothy Bobongi Waisele had pleaded guilty to one count of using unlicensed motor vehicle and one count of driving without a driver’s licence while Joshua Jackson Lui pleaded guilty to one count of permitting unlicensed motor vehicle and one count of permitting unlicensed driving.
Chite said he considers the blatant ignorance of the accused Bobongi to renew his driving licence in due time as serious.
“It had been expired since May 2019, almost a year ago.
“He is a taxi driver and should know better.
“The fact that he drives around without a valid licence and invalid motor vehicle in my view is foolish, he had put innocent lives of passengers, pedestrians and other road users at risk.
“The purpose to renew licence is so it can undergo inspection at the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID), a vehicle does not have a life in perpetuity or forever, it requires a change of brake pads, clutch, oils and other important matters,” he further added.
Chite also considered their early guilty pleas without legal advice, they are both first offenders and they have cooperated well with police.
He then imposed a total fine of $3,000 to each of the accused.
Both men have until August 5 to pay up their fine.
Failure to pay their fine by then will result in a six-month imprisonment.
Police Prosecutor Rodney Waokea appeared for the Crown.