6 Dec 2007

Former Solomon Islands Prime Minister jailed for two months

4:24 pm on 6 December 2007

A former Solomon Islands prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza has been jailed for two months.

He was convicted on charges of demanding money with menace, intimidation and larceny.

The Central Magistrates' Court had found that Sir Allan ordered a 2002 raid on a Honiara law firm to try to frighten its Australian staff into leaving the country.

The presiding magistrate, Chris Vaas, says he was lenient in sentencing Sir Allan as he was instrumental to bringing the Regional Assistance Mission, or RAMSI, to Solomon Islands.

However, Mr Vaas says despite strong supporting letters commending the work Sir Allan had performed for the country, he still had to serve a sentence because to not do so would send the wrong message to the public.

Meanwhile, Sir Allan has been granted bail pending the outcome of an appeal.