30 Mar 2011

Despite conviction, Lusibaea returns to Solomons parliament

2:23 pm on 30 March 2011

The Solomon Islands deputy opposition leader, Matthew Wale, has failed to keep an MP convicted of a criminal offence out of parliament .

Jimmy Lusibaea, who is a former fisheries minister, was convicted of shooting a hospitalised man in both knees and hitting a police officer over the head during the ethnic tensions in 2000.

In January, the Parole Board released him after he had served 41 days into a jail term of two years and nine months.

Mr Wale challenged Lusibaea's status as an MP and has sought a judicial review at the High Court.

However, the Speaker, Sir Allan Kemakeza, who himself has served a prison term, allowed Lusibaea into the chambers yesterday.

Lusibaea's swearing-in as minister has meanwhile been put on hold because the Governor General Sir Frank Kabui is refusing to do so as he is awaiting a resolution of the case in the High Court.