21 May 2008

Businessman sees government corruption in interference in his Solomon Islands plantation operation

3:32 pm on 21 May 2008

The Solomon Islands opposition leader Manasseh Sogavare has called for an inquiry into the Russell Islands Plantations Estate Limited saga.

His comments follow the High Court's quashing of deportation orders the Government issued against RIPEL chairman Patrick Wong and general manager John Whiteside.

Patrick Wong welcomes the call, but questions why Mr Sogavare didn't act when he was the Prime Minister.

He says it suggests high level corruption within government ranks.

"Interestingly, he was in the right position, when he was Prime Minister to do it, yet he did not do it. He seemed to be wiser after the event. But I think he's also saying there is a lot of political interference. I think he should come out and say who was influencing him not to have a commission of inquiry when he was a prime minister."

Patrick Wong, the chairman of RIPEL