7 Feb 2007

Solomons court grants bail to Australian accused in plot to kill PM

4:47 pm on 7 February 2007

An Australian man accused of plotting to assassinate the Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, has been granted bail after the director of public prosecutions accused police of making false statements.

The magistrate, William Senaka, granted Bill Johnson bail after it emerged that two police witnesses changed their statements to prosecutors.

Mr Johnson is facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Police have accused Mr Johnson of being part of a group of men plotting to assassinate Mr Sogavare last month.

The director of public prosecutions, Roland Talasasa, did not oppose bail because of what he saw as a turnaround in witness statements.