14 Dec 2010

Solomons government has suspicions over sudden departure of Lusibaea's lawyer

12:07 pm on 14 December 2010

The Solomon Islands government is seeking a formal explanation from the Public Solicitor's Office for the sudden departure from Honiara last Friday of the lawyer for the jailed government MP Jimmy Lusibaea.

Robert Cavanagh was due to appear at the bail application for Lusibaea who was recently sentenced to two years nine months jail for charges related to the ethnic tensions.

However the application was adjourned after the lawyer flew to Australia reportedly for treatment over a health condition.

Mr Cavanagh issued a statement asserting that the decision to leave was based entirely on his deteriorating health state.

But a government spokesman Alfred Sasako says the cabinet suspects Mr Cavanagh was pressured to leave.

"The concern is that if indeed it is established that Mr Cavanagh was pressured to leave then the view from here is that our legal system has been undermined to the extent that no-one can trust the system anymore."

Alfred Sasako