28 Sep 2006

Solomon Islands speaker says political interference in AG appointment not good

3:21 pm on 28 September 2006

The speaker of the Solomon Islands parliament, Sir Peter Kenilorea, says political interference in the appointment of a new Attorney-General is not good for the country.

He says he understands that Julian Moti of Australia was appointed after the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, instructed the Legal and Judicial Services Commission to do so.

Sir Peter says the Commission is meant to operate independently and in this case, the post wasn't vacant nor was it advertised.

The appointment has been controversial with Mr Moti's background including charges of rape in Vanuatu that were eventually dismissed and being banned for interfering in local politics in Solomon Islands.

Sir Peter says the prime minister has the right to approve the appointment of an Attorney-General but the political interference is not good.

"Under the constitution, it is very clear that the executive, the judiciary and the legislature have their own independent role. And, no-one of those three should usurp the responsibility and the authority of the other."

Sir Peter Kenilorea, the speaker of parliament.