Solomons Police Make Arrest In MP Boat Shooting

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December incident happened hours before PM election

By Bradford Theonomi

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 23, 2015) – Police arrested their first suspect in relation to last month’s Mbike island shooting in Gela, Central Province.

The arrest, made last week, came more than a month after a group of men fired shots at a fast craft used by Members of Parliament camping on the island, hours before the election of the prime minister.

No one was hurt in the incident.

Commissioner of Police Frank Prendergast confirmed the arrest of the suspect but declined to furnish further details.

"We arrested one individual in relation to the current investigation of the Mbike Island shooting," Mr Prendergast said.

"That’s all I can say at this stage because I cannot reveal more while the investigation into the incident is ongoing," he added.

He could not reveal the identity of the suspect.

Royal Solomon Islands Police, with the support of the Participating Police Force (PPF), are leading the probe.

Police believed the December 10 early morning shooting was an attempt to incapacitate the fast craft and rendered it difficult for the MPs to return to Honiara to participate in the election.

But the shooters failed in their attempt and the fast craft was able to return the MPs in time for the election.

They eventually elected Manasseh Sogavare as prime minister.

Opposition leader Jeremiah Manele issued a statement a few days after the shooting, denying his group’s involvement.

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