5 Jun 2002

Solomons police minister says alleged killer harboured by police

11:31 am on 5 June 2002

The Solomon Islands police minister, Benjamin Una, says the man who admitted killing New Zealander Kevin O'Brien has been sheltered by the man's brother who is a police officer.

Last week, Mr Una promised that the alleged killer John Buarafi, who is his nephew, would be brought from Malaita to Honiara for stabbing Mr O'Brien to death in February.

But Mr Una says Buarafi's father has now taken him back into the bush amid concerns that he is not being treated fairly.

He says Buarafi's family are concerned that there are other alleged murderers at large in Malaita, and that Buarafi is being targeted.

"He has been staying with his brother in Auki who is a police officer, and then his father, his relaltives came down to Auki and took him back to the bush....they said he has to wait until the other two cases that have been suspected for murder...they want those people to be arrested."

Benjamin Una has said those sheltering a criminal could be prosecuted but no action has been taken against his family.

Kevin O'Brien was stabbed to death at work in February.