26 Sep 2007

Former Solomons PM advised to get lawyer as riot probe continues

9:48 am on 26 September 2007

A former Solomon Islands prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, has been advised to engage a lawyer before appearing to give evidence to the Commission of Inquiry into last year's riots.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation says Sir Allan was scheduled to appear earlier this week but was told allegations against him were of critical nature and he needed a lawyer.

The riots in April last year destroyed much of Honiara's Chinatown area and forced hundreds of Chinese to flee.

A report with preliminary findings of the inquiry shows that the riots were orchestrated.

Meanwhile, the opposition's Edward Huniehu has called on members of parliament implicated in the report to voluntarily step down until their names are cleared.

He says this is to avoid public suspicion that the MPs were not using their position and powers to influence the work of the Inquiry.