11 Feb 2009

Solomons summons labelled intimidation and threat to media freedom

3:26 pm on 11 February 2009

A former Solomon Islands politician says moves by a Government agency to have journalists divulge their sources is intimidation and a threat to media freedom.

Alfred Sasako, who has also worked as a journalist, says the Solomon Islands' Leadership Code Commission has summonsed two journalists to appear before it tomorrow morning.

He says it's his understanding that the summonses relate to reports both journalists published last year.

One was on several Members of Parliament, including several Government Ministers, who allegedly borrowed thousands of dollars each from a local businessman.

Private borrowing is forbidden under the Leadership Code Commission.

The other story involved the behaviour of a Cabinet Minister during the South Pacific Games in Samoa last year.

Mr Sasako says these matters are clearly in the public interest and to summon for reporting the story is totally wrong.

He says it is intimidation and is clearly a serious threat to media freedom in Solomon Islands.