8 Feb 2005

Solomons bishop rejects PM's assertions

2:37 pm on 8 February 2005

The Bishop of Malaita in Solomon Islands has denied claims he said the Prime Minister, Sir Allen Kemakeza, should face charges arising from his involvement in the ethnic unrest.

Terry Brown also says he doesn't think he has ever mentioned Sir Allen in a sermon, as was claimed in parliament.

Sir Allen has threatened to sue the bishop over the reported comments.

Bishop Brown says the only time he has recently spoken about the prime minister was in a piece he wrote in the Solomon Star newspaper.

The Bishop says he only spoke in general terms of the need to make sure people on high place were not exempt from prosecution if they were guilty of crimes in the past.

Bishop Brown says talk of legal action from the prime minister is strange.

"I think the prime minister is facing a vote of no-confidence, that may be affecting how he is behaving, but I think the prime minister has done some very good things, particularly around the solving of the initial ethnic tension problems. But there certainly is a feeling that in some ways he was involved in many of the problems too and that he oughtn't be exempt from the whole thing."

The Bishop of Malaita, Terry Brown.