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Monday, July 23, 2007

Sogavare sues Solomon Star and a Sam Iro for publication of a letter to the editor last Friday

By Deli Oso, Press Secretary to the PM

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is suing the Solomon Star and ‘Auki Urban Insider’, Sam Iro for an article published in the daily paper’s Letters to the Editor column last Friday, titled ‘Fono and $50,000.’

The article authored by Mr Iro as it appeared in the paper alleged that
the National Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Fred Fono would have won the prime ministerial election last year had Prime Minister Sogavare not promised $20,000 to a person named Medley Kwalemanu and the members of parliament were not petrified at the riot that broke out on that event.

Mr Sogavare this morning issued a letter of notification on the commencement of the legal proceedings to the publisher of the paper.

He condemned the allegations and described them as nothing short of a criminal defamation basically aimed at discrediting him.

The Prime Minister said if the Solomon Star and Mr Iro thought that he (Mr Sogavare) could resort to evil strategies to win the favour of members of parliament, they should better think again.

“This is irresponsible publication on the part of the country’s leading newspaper. The publisher and editor of the newspaper have failed in their professional obligation to reject an article that carries unproven allegations.

“The article ‘Fono and $50,000’ has no other objective than to discredit me. This is nothing short of criminal defamation which you are a party to,” Mr Sogavare said.

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