12 Feb 2007

Call for Solomons government to explain actions by acting attorney general

2:48 pm on 12 February 2007

There is a call for the Solomon Islands government to explain why the acting attorney general, Nuatali Tongarutu, dropped serious charges against the Commerce Minister, Peter Shanel.

Transparency Solomon Islands, TSI, says the move was a clear abuse of office and an attempt to demolish the rule of law.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has since re-instated the case against Mr Shanel, who is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice in the Julian Moti affair after the suspended attorney general entered the country illegally.

The TSI chairman, Bob Pollard, says he doesn't know if the acting attorney general was under direction to drop the case but an explanation is needed.

"The government has kept silent about it, nothing has been said. It was almost done in secret but this is public information and so it's taken a while for it to come out but there's been absolutely no excuse or explanation from the acting attorney general or from the government."

Mr Pollard says they are also concerned that the acting attorney general attempted to drop a case against her brother.

And, he says the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, should not be attacking the DPP's office when it is simply upholding the law.