21 May 2007

Solomons police commissioner not chosen in transparent way

1:47 pm on 21 May 2007

The Solomon Islands Public Service Commission says the appointment of the country's new police commissioner, Jahir Khan, was not transparent.

Mr Khan, a Fiji national, was sworn in last week to replace Australian, Shane Castles, who was not allowed to continue in his job after his Christmas holiday, after being declared an undesirable immigrant.

The commission's chair, Edmund Andresen, says it was planning to advertise the position, but the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, had already chosen Mr Khan without consulting the commission.

"This appointment was not transparent. We only heard about the appointment in the media. As responsible commission, there are procedures that have always been followed in previous appointments of commissioners of police, but in this case, they were bypassed."

Mr Andresen says he is very concerned but does not regard the appointment as unconstitutional.

He says this is because Mr Sogavare had contacted the police and prison services commission to let them know who he had chosen.