20 Apr 2005

RAMSI set to defend itself in key court challenge

12:42 pm on 20 April 2005

The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands is expected to tell the High Court shortly that it will defend itself in a court case that goes to the heart of its operations in the country.

The head of the multi-national Participating Police Force under RAMSI, Sandi Peisley, has until today to tell the court how it will respond to a challenge from John Kwakwala Makasi.

Mr Makasi alleges RAMSI police officers breached the Solomons Constitution by forcing him to urinate in front of them during questioning into the death of Australian policeman Adam Dunning.

At issue has been whether RAMSI would claim immunity or fight the landmark case.

Sources say that after weeks of behind-the-scenes talks it's opting to fight.

They say the case will be fought on its merits and involve an exploration of constitutional rights, the law that paved the way for RAMSI, immunity and proper behaviour.

The outcome is considered important for the continuation of RAMSI's mandate.