1 May 2009

Chair of Solomon Islands Commission says it must operate within terms of Act

8:48 am on 1 May 2009

The chairperson of the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission says it must work under the legislation it was created under, even though that means its findings cannot be used as evidence in a court of law.

The human rights organisation, Amnesty International says its unfortunate the testimony the commission hears from people caught up in ethnic violence between 1998 and 2003 cannot be used to prosecute the perpetrators.

The commission's chairperson, Father Sam Ata has refused to comment on whether he would like the commission's evidence to be used by the courts.

But he says it has to operate within the terms set in the Act.

"We cannot do much about getting this information outside of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that is just the way the act is formalised and we will just work according to the act. We will take into account those sort of criticisms. They will be helpful when the government will come to look at the Act in the future."

Father Sam Ata says there is widespread support for the commission's determination to help with the reconciliation process.