23 Apr 2004

Solomons police and RAMSI tightlipped about probe into alleged rape

3:10 pm on 23 April 2004

Police in Solomon Islands are continuing to be tightlipped about their investigation into an allegation by an Australian peacekeeper that she was raped.

The police minister, Michael Maina, has asked the acting commissioner of police, Ben McDevitt, to look into the claims with urgency to establish the truth.

Earlier this week, Mr McDevitt said ongoing investigations had so far failed to uncover any evidence supporting the soldier's claim.

And the Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, said there had not been a sexual assault.

This came after the Solomon Islands prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, issued a statement, saying those who allegedly kidnapped and raped the woman must face the full force of the law.

Sir Allan says it is not traditional that recipients of much needed assistance burn the fingers that feed them.