25 Feb 2003

Solomons police confident of arrest in Soaki killing

11:30 am on 25 February 2003

The Solomon Islands police commissioner, William Morrell, says he hopes to have a suspect in the assassination of a former commissioner in custody within the next week.

Sir Fredrick Soaki was shot dead in a restaurant two weeks ago, when he was with UNDP officials in the Malaitan provincial capital, Auki.

Last weekend, a team was sent to Malaita to arrest a suspect - but returned to Honiara empty-handed.

Mr Morrell says apparently negotiations with the suspect's relatives and tribal leaders need to take place first, because of cultural traditions.

"They just seem very complex and of course people are a little bit uncertain because of all the problems here but I'm confident on the previous experience in these types of arrests that someone will be arrested in due course."

The Solomon Islands Police Commissioner, William Morrell.