14 Apr 2005

Solomon Islands' RAMSI confident of its legality despite two constitutional challenges

9:13 pm on 14 April 2005

The multi-national Regional Assistance Mission in Solomon Islands says it is consulting widely over whether it should claim immunity in a case against RAMSI Pice officers.

The head of RAMSI's Participating Police Force, or PPF, Sandi Peisley, has until next Wednesday to decide whether to claim immunity in a case of alleged abuse.

At issue are allegations from John Kwakwala Makasi that RAMSI police officers breached the constitution when he was held for questioning during inquiries into the death of Australian policeman Adam Dunning last December.

RAMSI says it has not decided yet whether immunity will be claimed.

A spokeswoman says the issue's complex and consultations are taking place with all eleven countries participating in RAMSI.

She says Ramsi's confident of its position and hopes the matter can be resolved quickly.

The issue's come to the fore because of a separate challenge to the legality of the PPF, brought by the former spokesman for militant group, the Malaita Eagle Force, Andrew Nori.

Mr Nori, who is facing criminal charges following a RAMSI investigation, says the section of the Facilitation of International Assistance Act 2003 that established RAMSI is unconstitutional and invalid.