Man in custody after New Zealand sailors’ assault

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The man charged with injuring two Royal New Zealand Navy sailors will be remanded until 28 August.

Solokai Halea Junior of Malaita Province has been charged with unlawful wounding and common assault after an incident at Heritage Park’s Extreme nightclub Saturday, 5 August.

Mr Halea is charged with wounding one man and assaulting the other. Both victims are crew members of the HMZS OTAGO and were in the country for the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal events.

Mr Halea, 25, allegedly attacked the victims, broke beer bottles on their heads and punched them. The prosecution said Mr Halea assaulted Mr Smith after he saw the men talking and drinking with his ex-wife, who was also injured in the altercation.

Mr Halea left the country the day after the incident. Criminal Investigation Department officers arrested him at Henderson International Airport when he returned Saturday, 12 August.

Prosecutor, Sgt. John Teula, said police discovered an outstanding arrest warrant for Mr Halea while preparing for today’s remand application.

Mr Halea claimed he did not appear in court for the Presence of Alcohol charge last August because an officer said the case would be dismissed if he paid a $1,000 fine.

Those allegations are under investigation.

The trial for Mr Halea’s wounding and assault charges will begin at the end of the month.

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