30 Aug 2005

Solomon Islands politician refused bail in fresh application

3:22 pm on 30 August 2005

A former Solomon Islands cabinet minister, Alex Bartlett, has been refused a fresh bail application.

Mr Bartlett appeared in court to face new charges including demanding with menaces, intimidation and forgery.

The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation reports that the charges relate to an incident in 2002 over the transfer of a piece of land.

In refusing bail, the magistrate said there was an unacceptable risk of Mr Bartlett interfering with witnesses.

On Friday, the politician was granted bail by the High Court after spending almost a year in custody awaiting trial on a number of other charges arising from the ethnic tensions during 2000.

These include demanding money with menaces, false pretences, inciting others to commit arson and arson.

Mr Bartlett was due to be released from custody on Monday but the Magistrates Court ordered that he be remanded again in custody on the new charges, refusing a fresh bail application by the defence counsel.