24 Jan 2005

Malaita situation to be monitored before any magistrate postings in Solomon Islands

1:57 pm on 24 January 2005

The Solomon Islands' Chief Magistrate says special considerations must be taken into account before posting a magistrate in Malaita province.

Rex Falconer says along with a general shortage of magistrates in the country, security concerns especially have prevented a Malaita posting.

His comments come after the chief justice, Albert Palmer, announced his intention to have magistrates operating in each provincial centre of Solomon Islands this year.

Mr Falconer says ethnic tensions and a lack of resources have long delayed the postings, particularly the lingering insecurity in Malaita.

"We will continue to monitor the situation especially when there is one culprit who is still out in the bush with a number of men following him, and they are fully armed. All these things we are considering and we are also considering the ethnic background of the magistrate too - that's an important concern for us with the background of the situation in Malaita."

Solomon Islands Chief Magistrate, Rex Falconer.