8 Jan 2007

Transparency Solomon Islands questions sacking of Police Commissioner

11:14 am on 8 January 2007

Transparency Solomon Islands says the declaration of the Police Commissioner, Shane Castles, as an undesirable immigrant sets a dangerous precedent.

A statement issued by the board of TSI says the declaration by the Foreign Minister is an inappropriate use of the Minister's power.

The release goes on to say that the separation of powers between the police and government is a very important part of the country's democratic form of Government.

It says the role of the Government is to make laws and policies, the Police's role is to uphold the law.

For the Minister to use his powers over immigration to obstruct the Police Commissioner from returning and continuing his role is not proper.

TSI says the country's Constitution provides a way for the Government to raise concerns where it believes the Police Commissioner is not performing his role, and if it has genuine concerns about Mr Castles conduct it should make use of the appropriate processes and procedures.

It says "in not doing so it opens itself to the accusation that it is manipulating our laws for purely political and possibly self interested purposes"

The TSI Board calls on the Government to allow the Police Commissioner to return and complete his contract.