3 Mar 2005

Former Solomons minister denies being sacked

4:20 pm on 3 March 2005

The former Solomon Islands Minister for Police, Michael Maina, is denying he's been sacked and replaced.

His denial follows the Prime Minister's appointment of the former Minister for Reconciliation, Augustine Taneko, as his replacement.

It's been nearly two weeks since Maina was charged with theft in connection with an alleged overpayment of more than 150 thousand US dollars into a bank account he controlled.

Maina denies there's been calls for him to quit and says he's yet to receive a letter from the Prime Minister, Sir Allen Kemakeza, asking him to resign.

"I have not been replaced madam, I am still a minister of the crown, my oath of office has not been terminated."

Maina says he has a meeting with Sir Allen Kemakeza later today but he declined to elaborate further.

In the meantime he's hired an Australian lawyer to defend him on the theft charge he's facing.