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Friday, October 20, 2006

Furious Sogavare vows to deal with Police Commissioner and Solicitor General over arrest of Minister

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says his government will deal with both the Commissioner of Police and the Solicitor General.

A statement from the Prime Minister's Office says Mr Sogavare will deal with the two officers for what he describes as the unnecessary arrest, detention and humiliation of the Minister for Commerce, Industries and Employment, Peter Shanel.

Mr Sogavare says the the Commissioner of Police and the Solicitor General who spearheaded the unwarranted action must understand that they are answerable to the Solomon Islands government.

The Prime Minister says the officers therefore must act and conduct themselves as employees of the Solomon Islands government according to law.

Mr Sogavare says his government considers their action as being influenced by their loyalty to Canberra who pays their salaries. He says this is a serious conflict of interest and the government is calling on the two men to declare their interests in the Solomon Islands.

Meanwhile, in his defence the Commissioner of Police Shane Castles says he has done nothing wrong, but only fulfilling his Constitutional and Statutory responsibilities in upholding the rule of law.

Mr Castles says although he is an employee of the Solomon Islands government, there is also the separation of powers. The Police Commissioner says not even a Prime Minister can direct police operations in a democracy.

Mr Castles says he finds it surprising that the Prime Minister can now make these comments when he was present at the meeting he called on the 10th October, where his Minister deliberately lied.

The Minister, Peter Shanel was arrested by police yesterday and charged for allegedly perverting the course of justice.

Source: SIBC

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