The city prosecutor has filed papers in Honolulu District Court to dismiss misdemeanor charges against five men who were arrested in a failed attempt to seize the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, paving the way for the state to pursue more serious charges.
The prosecutor filed papers Thursday asking the court to dismiss the case, pending further investigation, with the opportunity to refile the charges later.
The Honolulu Police Department says it has turned over the investigation to the state Department of the Attorney General.
Native Hawaiian leaders complained last week about the relative leniency of the charges and asked law enforcement to hold the men responsible to a higher level of accountability.
Police arrested Ene Faletogo, 62, Rheece Kahawai, 27, and Jordan Feletogo, 36, for misdemeanor assault; Sadhu Bott, 31, for misdemeanor assault and petty misdemeanor harassment; and Remedio Dabaluz, 39, for harassment Jan. 17 at OHA headquarters in Iwilei. They released the men about two hours later after Faletogo posted $100 bail for each of the men.
They are scheduled to appear in court to answer to the charges Feb. 14.
Conviction on the misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor crimes could prevent the state from pursuing more serious charges.