7 Mar 2003

Solomon Islands police arrest suspect in Soaki assassination case

8:28 am on 7 March 2003

Solomon Islands police have arrested a 35 year old police sergeant in connection with the assassination of Sir Frederick Soaki last month.

The regular officer is the man police had earlier said was the prime suspect in the killing, but who had eluded them on Malaita for two weeks.

Today(thurs) he was reported to have been firing a gun in the provincial capital Auki, and the local broadcaster said he had also caused damage at the local police station.

Assistant commissioner John Homelo says the man eventually agreed to surrender to police, and has been flown to Honiara where he is in custody.

Our correspondent reports that security at Honiara's Rove prison has been tightened.

Charges are to be formally lodged against the police man tomorrow morning.FRI