9 May 2006

Solomons PM criticised for comments about remand case

1:08 pm on 9 May 2006

The Director of Public Prosecutions in Solomon Islands, John Cauchi, has criticised the Prime Minister for making public comments that could influence the case of two MPs who were remanded in custody on charges related to last month's rioting and looting.

The Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, told the Australian TV show The Insiders that the evidence against East Honiara MP Charles Dausabea and Central Honiara MP Nelson Ne'e was questionable.

Mr Ne'e appeared in the Magistrates Court yesterday and had his case deferred until tomorrow while Mr Dausabea's will appear in court today.

The Solomon Star reports a Magistrate and two High Court judges decided that there is sufficient enough evidence to deny bail to the two MPs.

Mr Dausabea faces three counts of inciting a riot, intimidation and threatening to destroy a hotel, while Mr Ne'e has been charged with one count of managing an unlawful society, two counts of threat and one of intimidation.

Mr Cauchi said the PM's statement could stop people from coming forward to assist.