8 Mar 2007

Calls for clarification on Solomon Islands Amnesty Act

4:29 pm on 8 March 2007

A senior crown prosecutor at the office of Public Prosecutions in Solomon Islands says the Court of Appeal needs to clarify what crimes are covered by the Townsville Peace Agreement's amnesty provisions.

His comments follow a decision by Justice Francis Mwanesalua who refused to grant amnesty to six Malaitan Eagle Force militants accused of murdering a 15 year old boy.

The six have now embarked on a hunger strike over the decision.

Justice Mwanesalua ruled that they were not entitled to amnesty as murder violated the sanctity of human life as set down in the country's constitution.

The case follows the earlier granting of amnesty to two MEF militants who were accused of abduction and murder.

They were granted amnesty for the abduction but the murder is still under investigation.

Senior crown prosecutor, Nicholas Mirou, says that guidelines are needed to clear up any confusion.

"There is a need to clarify and the proper view that this office takes is for the Court of Appeal to make such a decision because there are now two different rulings that have been made and the Court of Appeal would probably be the best authority to deal with the issue relating to the Amnesty Act."

Senior crown prosecutor, Nicholas Mirou.