20 Oct 2006

Solomons' police commissioner says he was upholding the law after an attack from prime minister

9:54 am on 20 October 2006

The Solomon Islands Police Commissioner, Shane Castles says he has done nothing more than uphold the rule of law and fulfill his Constitutional and Statutory responsibilities.

Mr Castles' move is in response to threats by Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare against him and the Solicitor-General Nathan Moshinsky following the laying of charges against Solomons Immigration Minister Peter Shanel.

The AAP news agency reported that Mr Sogavare threatened to "deal with" two senior Australian officials over their involvement in the arrest of his minister.

Mr Castles and Mr Moshinsky are Australians who have taken official roles in the Solomons.

Peter Shanel has been accused of lying about an order that allowed fugitive Australian Julian Moti to enter the Solomons without a valid passport at a time when Australia was seeking his extradition on child sex charges.

He appeared in court on Wednesday, charged with perverting the course of justice, misleading a police officer and misleading a public servant.

Mr Sogavare says his government considered the actions of Mr Castles and Mr Moshinsky to have been influenced "by their ultimate loyalty to Canberra who pays their salaries".

Mr Moshinsky says Mr Sogavare should be very cautious because the law doesn't permit him to make allegations against people without foundation.