Tuesday, 31 July 2007 8:35 AM

Conspiracy Charges Dropped by DPP

Director of the Public Prosecution, Ronald Bei Talasasa, has dropped conspiracy charges against members of Parliament, Nelson Ne'e, Charles Dausabea and Honiara businessman, Alex Bartlett.

The prosecution was of the view that there was no case to answer for the three men in regards to the allegation of conspiracy. Speaking to SIBC, lawyer for the three men, Charles Ashley, said that the prosecution last Friday dropped all the charges because it could not produce any evidence in court to support the allegations.

All three men had various charges laid against them including conspiracy to riot and murder and conspiracy to burn down the Pacific Casino hotel. It was alleged that the men had conspired at the Airport Motel to commit murder, arson and riot and to burn down the Honiara Casino hotel.

Mr Ashley says the three men still face charges of inciting riot and intimidation in relation to the rioting at Parliament House and China Town on April 18th 2006. He says his client, Mr Dausabea, faces three counts of inciting riot at Parliament, China Town and threatening to burn Honiara hotel. Mr Ashley says Mr Bartlett faces a charge of inciting the crowd to riot at China Town, whilst Mr Ne'e faces a charge of intimidation.

Meanwhile, defense counsels of all three accused have each made "no case to answer" submissions on behalf of their clients, which the court is expected to make a ruling at a later date.