18 Feb 2004

Solomon Islands police arrest former Malaita Eagle Force negotiator on murder charge

7:36 am on 18 February 2004

A former key member of the Solomon Islands militant group, the Malaita Eagle Force, Leslie Kwaiga, has been charged in relation to the murder of Selwyn Saki in September 2001.

Mr Saki had been a commander in the rival Isatambu Freedom Movement.

Kwaiga is the third person to be charged over Saki's murder.

Kwaiga, a lawyer, who had served as a negotiator for the MEF, was charged with abduction, intimidation and conspiring to defeat the course of justice, in connection with the Saki killing, last December.

He was granted bail on those charges yesterday and walked free, but was arrested and charged with murder soon after, and returned to custody.

Under Solomons law bail cannot be awarded to anyone charged with murder.