19 Jan 2011

Solomons parole board explains Lusibaea release

10:07 am on 19 January 2011

The Solomon Islands parole board says the release of former Fisheries Minister Jimmy Lusibaea from jail was within the laws of the country.

The board's chairman, Philip Tegavota explained the decision to the Solomon Star after the acting opposition leader Matthew Wale said the release bore the hallmarks of political manipulation.

Mr Tegavota says the parole board followed the law when it recommended the release of Mr Lusibaea to the police minister.

He says the minister has the power to parole prisoners, and Lusibaea had satisfied the criteria of the parole board.

Mr Togavota says Lusibaea was released on license with conditions attached, and his release was not based on amnesty or other constitutional matters.

Lusibaea was sentenced to two years and nine months in November, after pleading guilty to charges of unlawfully wounding a person and assaulting a police officer during the ethnic tensions.

A judicial review of Mr Lusibaea's case under the Amnesty Act is believed to be still pending.