1 Nov 2006

Solomons to look into Australian aid spending

4:01 pm on 1 November 2006

The Solomon Islands prime minister says his country won't be blackmailed with Australian aid money.

The prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, says he has launched an investigation into how much Australian aid money has been spent on Solomon Islanders.

He has told the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation that his probe is to ensure Australians don't twist the arms of Solomon Islanders nor drag them by the nose.

His statement comes as the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands gave 27 new police vehiclesto the Solomons police force in Honiara today.

Relations between Honiara and Canberra have been strained for weeks, with Mr Sogavare expelling the Australian high commissioner and Australia seeking the extradition of the suspended Solomons attorney general on a charge of a sex crime committed in Vanuatu nine years ago.