8 Apr 2013

Foreign businessman says Solomons police above the law

10:43 am on 8 April 2013

A foreign businessman who was forced to leave Solomon Islands says the police there think they are above the law.

Theo Van de Pitte lived in Solomon Islands between 2003 and 2007 - when he was told to leave by the Immigration Department.

Mr Van de Pitte says his company was given to other people without proper transfer papers and says when he went to the police in 2010 to complain about it, they did nothing.

Mr Van de Pitte, who now lives in Australia, says when he informed the Police Commissioner John Lansley last month that he would like to take the police to court for failing to act, he was told that could be difficult.

"He said that it would probably not be easy to take the police to court which would mean that he thinks the police are above the law in the Solomon Islands. I went to the Solomon Islands to set up a business and I just went through 10 years of hell."

Mr Van de Pitte filed a case in the High Court last year against the Immigration Department, Foreign Investment Division, and Business Registration unit.