24 Nov 2010

Sentencing of Solomons government minister deferred

7:54 pm on 24 November 2010

The judge presiding over the Solomon Islands fisheries minister Jimmy Lusibaea's assault case has deferred passing sentence until next Tuesday.

Mr Lusibaea pleaded guilty to the offences of unlawful wounding and assaulting a police officer in execution of his duty during the ethnic tensions in 2000 and appeared in court Wednesday to be sentenced.

However, our correspondent in Honiara, Dorothy Wickham, says the mitigiation for the defence was so extensive the judge said he needed a few days to consider all the submissions.

"Apparently the Prime Minister has also made a submission, church leaders, some ministers, members of parliament and we also have to remember he's not the only one charged in this case, there's another two, and they have submissions on behalf of them, too."

Dorothy Wickham says Jimmy Lusibaea's supporters are not happy with the further delay in the case and she expects police will maintain tight security in Honiara over the weekend.