21 Mar 2003

Solomons police investigate officer's sudden death

10:38 am on 21 March 2003

Solomon Islands police are investigating last weekend's sudden death of a police inspector who had reported being threatened.

Inspector Alick Sarere was in command of the police launch which brought murder suspect Edmund Sae back to Honiara from Auki on Malaita two weeks ago.

Sae, a regular police sergeant, is charged with the murder of former police commissioner and peace councillor, Sir Frederick Soaki.

Police sources say members of the arresting team have been threatened and have been forced to change phone numbers.

Deputy police commissioner, John Homelo, says that is not correct, but he confirms that Inspector Sarere had told colleagues of threats before sailing to Auki.

Mr Homelo says there have been rumours that he had been poisoned.

"He was admitted to hospital on Friday. He stayed there Friday and Saturday and on Sunday he passed away. A doctor confirmed that something was wrong with his stomach and the doctor reported this to the CID."

John Homelo.

Meanwhile Edmund Sae is due back in court this morning for a further remand hearing.