28 Sep 2006

Solomons speaker says political interference in AG appointment not good

1:29 pm on 28 September 2006

There are further concerns being voiced in Solomon Islands about political interference over the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, instructing an independent body on the appointment of a new Attorney-General.

The speaker of parliament, Sir Peter Kenilorea, says the post was not vacant nor was it advertised.

He says the Legal and Judicial Services Commission is meant to operate independently, but apparently simply appointed an Australian lawyer, Julian Moti, as the new Attorney-General on the instructions of the prime minister.

Sir Peter says under the constitution; the judiciary, the executive and the legislature, have their own independent role and no-one of those three should usurp the responsibility and the authority of the other.

"In my own personal observation, it doesn't look good if such important organisations are being interfered with politically, as it might. It does not speak well for the country."

Sir Peter.

The appointment of Mr Moti has been controversial because his background includes charges of rape in Vanuatu that were eventually dismissed and a ban for interference in local politics in Solomon Islands.