17 Jan 2011

Opposition in Solomons seeks revoking of release of MP Jimmy Lusibaea

7:39 pm on 17 January 2011

The Solomon Islands opposition says it will seek to have the decision to release MP Jimmy Lusibaea from prison revoked.

The former fisheries minister was sentenced to a jail term of two years and nine months at the end of November, after pleading guilty to counts of unlawfully wounding another person and assaulting a police officer during the ethnic tensions.

The acting opposition leader Matthew Wale told the Solomon Star newspaper the decision to release Lusibaea less than two months after he was sentenced bears the hallmarks of political manipulation.

He says the opposition believes correctional services was under pressure to recommend the early release to the parole board.

But our correspondent Dorothy Wickham says Lusibaea's team used the judicial process to get what they wanted

"And that is apply under the parole clauses of the Correctional Act. He applied for it and the Commissioner of Prisons approved it based on certain elements of support letters that were given from within the prison, based on good behaviour, the span of time he has served, and the fact he has been through rehabilitation within the prison service itself."

Dorothy Wickham