WITNESS: HONIARA LAWMAKER EXHORTED RIOTERS

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By Joy A. Rikimae

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Sept. 26) –A prosecution witness [in the trail of East Honiara Member of Parliament Charles Dausabea said he saw the lawmaker wave to a crowd of looters in Chinatown on the first day of the riots.

The witness, who was giving evidence in seclusion following yesterday’s landmark ruling, told the court that he was in Chinatown on 18 April.

Public prosecutor Michael McColm asked the witness, who was referred to as "Chinatown 1" where he was before he went to Chinatown.

The witness said he was at the Honiara Hotel.

"It was from Honiara Hotel that I made my way down the Marimba Club to the YTL shop in Chinatown," the witness said.

"What made you to go to Chinatown?" asked Mr McColm.

"Because I saw Charles Dausabea drove past to West of Chinatown. Also, I have an interest to see what was happening and that I heard a lot of banging in Chinatown," he said.

Chinatown 1 said when he got to YTL shop he saw that there were already plenty of damages.

"Then I saw Charles Dausabea drove in slowly, while the crowd cheering him up and he too wave to them," the witness said.

"What was Dausabea doing at that time?" Mr McColm asked

"He was in his truck, driving slowly and went on to shout to the people, ‘go ahead’ ‘go ahead,’ the witness said..

"So what did the people do?" Mr McColm continued.

"The people were shouting and were looking very happy, they continued to loot, taking out goods from the stores," the witness said.

Chinatown 1 told the court that Mr Dausabea was in his truck the whole time, he did not go out, but drove slowly all the way.

The witness said he did not count the number of people near Dausabea’s car, when he shouted ‘go ahead’ but there were a lot of people.

The witness said from YTL he went to Chung Wah School and in front of the Multipurpose hall.

It was from the Multipurpose hall area that he went back to Honiara Hotel.

"When I reached Honiara Hotel, I spoke with Mr Hou and he told me something about Charles Dausabea."

Mr Hou was the other witness against Dausabea.

Chinatown 1 said that from his observations, Mr Hou had not been drinking alcohol at that time.

Defence lawyer, Michael Pitakaka, asked what time the witness reached the Honiara hotel.

The witness said it did not take him long because he took a taxi.

"Today you said, you walk, now you say you took a taxi?" Pitakaka asked.

"My answer today just follow the question, when I said I walked. I went up there in the same taxi and use the same taxi to come come," the witness explained.

The witness said he knew other security guards at the Honiara Hotel like Mr Foubala and Mr Mua. The two were at the hotel when he went there.

The witness said they were standing in front of the Flamingo night club and were observing the happenings.

He said Mr Dausabea drove from the Quan Chee petrol station towards the western side of Chinatown.

"But from the place you were standing, you cannot see him if he turned into Chinatown?" Mr Pitakaka questioned the witness.

" Yes, that was why I decided to go and see what was happening in Chinatown," the witness replied.

Chinatown 1 said it was about 6pm when a huge crowd came into Chinatown from the eastern side that he saw the police parked their vehicles near Lawson Tama.

September 27, 2006

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