19 Nov 2003

Solomons cabinet minister arrested on assault charges

5:18 am on 19 November 2003

A Solomon Islands Cabinet Minister is in custody after being charged with a series of offences, including assault of a New Zealand police woman yesterday.

Daniel Fa'afanua, the Minister of Communication, Aviation and Meteorology, has appeared in court on charges of assaulting a police officer, assault causing bodily harm, being drunk and disorderly, resisting arrest, giving a false name to police and malicious damage.

Fa'afanua also faces a charge of demanding money with menaces, relating to an incident last year, when he allegedly demanded and got payment from the Solomons Star newspaper for an article he took exception to.

It is alleged that yesterday Fa'afanua assaulted his former wife outside his house, but when police from the Regional Assistance Mission responded to the disturbance they struggled to subdue him.

He allegedly became aggressive punching, kicking and ripping the clothing of New Zealander Senior Sergeant Annelise Nygaard.

Fa'afanua has been remanded in custody until December the 2nd.