14 Apr 2005

Regional Assistance Mission in Solomon Islands consults over case

7:32 pm on 14 April 2005

The multi-national Regional Assistance Mission in Solomon Islands says it is consulting widely over whether it should claim immunity in a case against Ramsi police officers.

The head of the Participating Police Force, or PPF, under Ramsi, Sandi Peisley, has until next Wednesday to decide whether to claim immunity in a case of alleged abuse or to fight it.

At issue are allegations from John Kwakwala Makasi that Ramsi police officers breached the country's Constitution in incidents in December at the Ramsi base in Honiara.

Mr Makasi was held during inquiries into the death of Australian policeman Adam Dunning.

Ramsi says it has not decided yet whether immunity will be claimed.

A spokeswoman says the issue's complex and consultations are taking place with all eleven countries participating in Ramsi.

She says Ramsi's confident of its position and hopes the matter can be resolved quickly.

The issue's come to the fore because of a separate challenge to the legality of the PPF, brought by the former legal adviser of the Malaita Eagle Force, Andrew Nori.

Andrew Nori is facing charges for allegedly receiving the proceeds of a felony in relation to 680-thousand US dollars that went missing from a Malaita provincial account.

He says the section of the Facilitation of the International Assistance Act 2003 that established Ramsi and the PPF is unconstitutional and invalid.