4 Sep 2006

Solomons PM says he will speak to Australian PM about alleged interference in judicial system

10:28 am on 4 September 2006

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, says he'll raise the issue of alleged Australian interference in his country's judicial system with that country's Prime Minister, John Howard.

AAP reports that Mr Sogavare has accused his own attorney-general of acting under Australian influence to pervert the country's judicial system, in which Australians work as part of a regional assistance mission.

He says he will raise the issue of interference with Mr Howard at the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Fiji in October.

Mr Sogavare says court proceedings challenging terms of reference he set for an inquiry into April's Honiara riots are a "judicial farce" and evidence of foreign influence.

The prime minister is at odds with Attorney-General ,Primo Afeau, who initiated the High Court challenge to two of the Prime Minister's terms of reference for the riots inquiry, to be headed by retired Australian judge Marcus Enfield.

Mr Afeau contends the two terms of reference could compromise court cases for two jailed MPs, Charles Dausabea and Nelson Ne'e.

Both men are facing charges of inciting the April riots.