14 Apr 2005

Former legal advisor to Solomons rebels challenges establishment of Regional Assistance Mission

10:14 am on 14 April 2005

The former legal advisor of the Malaita Eagle Force militia group, Andrew Nori, has filed a case challenging the facilitation of the International Assistance Act 2003 that paved the way for the Regional Assistance Mission in the Solomon Islands.

Mr Nori is among others seeking a high court declaration that the Act is unconstitutional and void.

Our reporter in Honiara, Dorothy Wickham says Mr Nori claims the act establishes or provides for the operation of an independent police force outside the command and control of the Police Commissioner

"He claims that the act establishes or provides for the operation in Solomon Islands of a police force whose members are not appointed by the Police and Prison Services Commission or by the Police Commissioner as required by the Constitution. The case is also seeking a declaration that the Participating Police Force is unconstitutional and illegal. Nori also wants compensation for the loss of business as a result of a search of his house and office. Andrew Nori was the legal spokesman for the militia group, Malaita Eagle Force and recently was charged with two counts of receiving the proceeds of a felony in relation to five million Solomon Islands dollars that went missing from the Malaita provincial account."