28 Jun 2004

Solomons committee says Kwaio killings part of wider conspiracy

3:43 pm on 28 June 2004

A member of a Solomon Island parliamentary select-committee investigating the killing of 10 people sent to kill rebel leader Harold Keke two years ago says the trip was part of a wider conspiracy.

The six-man committee concluded the men were mercenaries offered nearly 40-thousand US dollars each to kill Keke on Guadalcanal's weathercoast.

Joses Tuhanuku says the committee interviewed more than 30 people from East Kwaio, where the party was from.

Mr Tuhanuku says while they were unable to ascertain who organised or financed the mercenaries, the financial inducements narrowed the field of suspects.

"It will have to be someone who is in the position to pay that kind of money which means that they have to be a financially strong position or that sort of financial position."

Joses Tuhanuku says he has also not ruled out the involvement of foreigners.

Solomons police have been handed the committee's findings.