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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Dausabea refused bail for a third time

The Minister of Police and National Security, Hon. Charles Dausabea was refused bail for a third time yesterday afternoon after a lengthy Magistrate proceeding at the High Court.

Presiding as Principle Magistrate, High Court Commissioner David Chetwynd ruled against strong defence arguments pointing to the deteriorating health conditions of Mr Dausabea after being in detention for the last 14 days.

The defence team also argued that Mr Dausabea was delegated an important Ministerial portfolio in the newly formed democratic government of Solomon Islands saying “he should be granted liberty to perform his national duties rather than performing from behind bars”.

“This man is now a Minister of the Crown known to the courts and police and he must be allowed to take part in government businesses,” the defence insisted.

Leading defence lawyer Julian Moti said doctors examining Mr Dausabea on two different occasions from his prison cell recommended that the applicant requires special dietary attention and medication.

“He is a diabetic patient and his sugar level reaches the 26 mark,” Mr Moti said.

Co-defence counsel Billy Titiulu agreed saying Mr Dausabea is a known diabetic person that requires special diet to sustain his health.

“I feel the defendant has taken excess sugary food during his detention.

“The doctors’ results were shocking and dangerous for Mr Dausabea’s health.

“The only solution to address this is to release him on bail,” Mr Titiulu said.

The prosecution however maintained the serious nature of the applicant’s potential to interfere with the process of investigations.

Co-prosecutor Michael McColme objected the defence argument on Dausabea’s health conditions saying it carries little weight to guarantee bail.

Mr McColme made reference to his conversation with a prison doctor who advised that food provided in the prison meets the applicant’s dietary needs.

The prosecution argued through a testimony from a RAMSI police witness who said police were heavily concerned that witnesses could be threatened if Dausabea is granted bail.

“What is your position on suggestions that Dausabea be granted bail under close police escort?” asked Mr McColme.

“The Police Commissioner does not entertain that because if released and sworn in as Minister he will be the boss of those officers,” the officer replied.

Mr Chetwynd agreed with the prosecution saying there is sufficient material before the court to refuse bail.

He said his appointment as Minister was done only after Dausabea was remanded in custody with charges of intimidation, threatening and inciting violence.

“It would be a folly to ignore the views expressed in the previous decisions against the applicant.

“Being a minister or an MP is similar to all members of the public who are all under the law,” Mr Chetwynd said in his ruling.

Mr Dausabea has been further remanded until May 23 for his next appearance.


Reports by: Mr George Herming (Government Information Officer)


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