27 Oct 2006

Solomons leader drops controversial terms of reference in riot inquiry

9:19 am on 27 October 2006

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says two controversial terms of reference have been dropped from his commission of inquiry into April's Honiara riots.

Canberra had considered the terms an attempt to get two jailed MPs, Nelson Ne'e and Charles Dausabea, who are supporters of Mr Sogavare, off charges of inciting the violence.

Mr Sogavare, who has just arrived back in Honiar from the Forum summit in Fiji, says his inquiry should go ahead.

He says Canberra should no longer have any objections because the terms of reference it took exception to had been dropped.

The terms last month sparked the diplomatic row between Honiara and Australia after Mr Sogavare forced the Australian high commissioner Patrick Cole to leave the country for allegedly meddling in the riots inquiry.