SOLOMONS MINISTER KNIFES YOUTH IN SCUFFLE

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By Joy A Rikimae

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Aug. 21) - Minister of Commerce, Industry and Employment Peter Shanel yesterday admitted he cut a student from Honiara’s Lord Howe Settlement with a knife. He said it was because the boy kicked and hurt his wife during an incident in front of the National Referral Hospital car park 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

The Central Guadalcanal parliamentarian said he and his wife went to visit their daughter and granddaughter, who were admitted at the hospital.

Mr. Shanel said he saw two boys verbally abusing his wife and one kicked his wife’s leg. He said that was why he defended her.

"I was angry to see them fighting my wife... that’s why I took the knife and hit the boy," the Minister said.

The other side of the story.

But according to the student who was cut, Mcfarlin Ma’ai, the story was different.

Mr. Ma’ai, a form five student of Naha Community High School, said they heard arguing at the hospital’s outpatient area. That was why they went to watch.

He said Mrs. Shanel was arguing with hospital security staff because they would not allow her in to visit her daughter.

"The wife turned around and when she saw us watching her she became angry and shouted abusive words to us," he said.

He said it was because of that they began to exchange abusive words and he kicked Mrs. Shanel. He said, "We did not think she was the Minister’s wife but we think she was a mental women because she speaks too loud at the hospital.

"We only knew that she is the wife of the Minister when Mr. Shanel hit me with the knife."

Mr. Ma’ai received injuries to his left cheek. He had received stitches to the wound and had lost one tooth, he said. Ma’ai’s friend Patterson Aka’a was also there at that time.

The pair said Police had taken their statements.

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