8 Feb 2007

Solomons police investigate whether officers altered statements in court case

4:03 pm on 8 February 2007

An investigation is under way by the Solomon Islands police force as to whether officers altered statements presented as evidence in an alleged assassination plot targetting the prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare.

The internal investigation comes as the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ronald Bei Talasasa, issued a stern warning to police that the criminal justice system can't be tainted to satisfy people's vendettas.

It's been alleged that two police witnesses changed their statements to prosecutors in the case against an Australian man who's been accused of plotting to assassinate Mr Sogavare.

Mr Talasasa granted the man, Bill Johnson, bail and told the police he wouldn't tolerate their attitudes.

A spokesperson for the police says the acting commissioner, Graham Emery, received the results of the officers' investigation into the alleged plot and noticed some inconsistencies.

The spokesperson says as a result, the officers' investigation was referred to the police's professional standards unit.