6 Sep 2010

Former police commissioner queries RAMSI's approach in Solomon Islands shooting

6:39 pm on 6 September 2010

A former police commissioner of Solomon Islands has raised questions about RAMSI involvement in a fatal shooting after the elections there more than a week ago.

Frank Short says after seven years in the country, the Regional Assistance Mission should have moved beyond armed military policing to play more of a humanitarian role.

And he's questioned the amount of force used in the brawl and rock throwing incident in which a civilian was shot dead.

"I would have thought that it would have been better to disperse the group with the use of tear gas, which is minimum force, rather than have to resort to deadly force, which is the use of firearms."

Frank Short also says an impartial hearing into the incident might be more readily accepted by Tongan authorities who have not allowed Solomon Island forces to question the Tongan soldiers involved.