8 Feb 2005

Solomons bishop says locals believe justice doesn't apply to all

4:38 pm on 8 February 2005

The Bishop of Malaita in Solomon Islands says locals believe some parliamentarians are getting away with past crimes.

Terry Brown has been threatened with legal action by the prime minister Sir Allen Kemakeza, who claims the bishop had said Sir Allen should face charges arising from his involvement in the ethnic unrest.

However Bishop Brown says he doesn't think he has ever mentioned Sir Allen in a sermon, as was claimed in parliament.

Bishop Brown says the only time he has recently spoken of the prime minister was in a piece he wrote in the Solomon Star newspaper.

The Bishop says he wrote in general terms of the need to make sure people in high places were not exempt from prosecution if they were guilty of crimes in the past.

"There is a fair level of frustration, particularly from Malaita, with RAMSI arresting various people and what-not, which is all very good, but I think there is kind of a feeling that there are some bigger characters in Parliament or ministers and so forth who perhaps have been overlooked or been protected and I thought that feeling ought to come out so that some of those issues could be addressed."

Bishop Brown says talk of legal action from the prime minister is strange.