1 Feb 2011

Leading Solomons' lawyer slams parole for controversial MP

5:40 pm on 1 February 2011

The President of the Solomon Islands Bar Assocation has described the Parole Board decision to release an MP shortlly after he was refused bail, as an attack on the judiciary.

Rodney Kingmele used his address in the High Court at the start of the new legal year to comment on the the release of Jimmy Lusibaea just a month and a half into his two year nine month sentence.

Mr Kingmele says the public has questioned the timing of the appointment of the Parole Board, which is selected by the government, as well as it's decision to release the MP:

"The fact that the government's appeal against the sentence was still pending, we felt that the decision by the Parole Board was really, sort of, usurping the functions of the High Court, which had refused bail, and the Court of Appeal, which was yet to hear Mr Lusibaea's appeal"

The Parole Board has defended it's decision saying it followed the law when it recommended the release of Mr Lusibaea to the police minister.

But Mr Kingmele says the regulations of the Parole Baord need to be looked at, such as how much of a sentence has been served before prisoners can be considered for release and what they have been convicted for.

Mr Lusibaea pleaded guilty to shooting a man who was in hosptal, in both knees and hitting a police officer over the head.