14 Apr 2005

Former Solomons militia adviser says PPF law unconstitutional

1:48 pm on 14 April 2005

The former legal adviser of the Malaita Eagle Force says foreign police operating in Solomon Islands separate from local police command are operating contrary to the country's constitution.

Andrew Nori is challenging the validity of part of the Facilitation of International Assistance Act 2003 that enables a multi-national police force to operate under the Regional Assistance Mission.

Mr Nori is seeking a High Court ruling that the Act is unconstitutional and void and that, therefore, the Participating Police Force cannot continue in its present form.

"Now here we are having a foreign force in Solomon Islands carrying out police operations which is not subjected to the management, to the control and discipline of the Commissioner of Police who has the constitutional authority established by the Solomon Islands Constitution, to command and look after the police force in Solomon Islands."

Andrew Nori's case follows a separate challenge alleging that police working under Ramsi breached the constitution in an incident in December.

The PPF head, Sandi Peisley, has until next Wednesday to decide whether to claim immunity.

Ramsi says the case covers the entire Ramsi operation, not just police, and Ramsi's confident of its position in Solomon Islands.