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Monday, March 27, 2006

Call for arrest of "Big Fish"

By MOFFAT MAMU (Solomon Star Online News)

Questions have been raised as to why only the “small fish” are being arrested while the “big fish” are still free.

This concern was raised during open forums at the Auki Market and Malu’u, Malaita Province, last Friday when a RAMSI delegation led by Special Coordinator James Batley visited the areas.

It was alleged certain leaders who have been implicated in corruption cases and allegedly masterminded criminal activities are still in power and enjoying freedom.Among concerns raised in the forum about corruption, law and order and economic developments, was the arrest of the so-called “big fish”.

“There were no arrests of the ‘big fish’ although their actions have been seen and heard in the public arena,” a concerned member of the public stated.However, Mr Batley said both RAMSI and the local police are still investigating some of the leaders implicated in various corruption and criminal activities occurred in the country over the past years.

“We are gathering information on these leaders,” Mr Batley said.He also told the crowd in Auki and Malu’u that so far six ministers have been arrested.

“This is a great achievement given the number of ministers who have been charged for their unlawful acts committed years ago and while holding on to power.”However, he said there is still a lot of work to be done.

Deputy Commissioner of Police and PPF Commander Will Jamieson said more concrete and hard evidence is needed to prove the wrongful deeds of these leaders in order to have them arrested and charged.“We need more information and evidence over these allegations and unless we have them our officers cannot make any arrests.But the police are working hard to get these information and evidences in,” he said.He appealed to the public to help the police by coming forward and give any information and evidence about any of the leaders whom they thought did something wrong.

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