10 Mar 2010

Solomons police probes ongoing as Truth Commission sits

2:35 pm on 10 March 2010

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Solomon Islands says while the evidence it hears will not be used to prosecute perpetrators of violence during the tensions, the police are conducting their own investigations.

The commission is holding its first hearing into the conflict which left about 100 people dead and 20,000 displaced between 1998 and 2003.

Amnesty International says the commission's mandate should have allowed for its findings to be used in criminal prosecutions.

But the commission's chairman, the Reverend Sam Ata, says while the information it hears will not be used by the courts, it is working concurrently with the legal system.

"We work independent from the police investigation. There are cases which we know of that the police already have in their possession. So it's just a matter of time to deal with them through the legal process. Our investigation is basically to get an accurate history of what happened to our people in Solomon Islands."

Reverend Ata says the hearing is enabling some people to hear of the suffering of victims for the first time.