27 Feb 2007

Australian man acquitted of assassination plot banned from returning to Solomon Islands

7:27 pm on 27 February 2007

An Australian Vietnam War veteran who had been accused of plotting to assassinate the Solomon Islands prime minister has been banned from returning to the country.

Charges against Bill Johnson conspiring to murder Manasseh Sogavare and conspiracy to commit a felony were dropped in the Honiara Magistrates Court last week.

Mr Johnson flew to Brisbane on Sunday after saying he'd decided to return to Australia to live.

The Solomons immigration director, Jeffery Deve, has told the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation that his department did not deport Mr Johnson, but facilitated his return to Australia as he did not have a valid residential permit.

He says Mr Johnson is prohibited from returning to the Solomons.