25 Jul 2014

Solomons moves on from Castles experience

11:16 am on 25 July 2014

A former Solomon Islands Prime Minister says the country has moved on from the bad experience around the last time an Australian was the country's Police Commissioner.

A career Australian Federal Police officer, Frank Prendergast, has been appointed as the new commissioner.

The last Australian to serve as commissioner, Shane Castles, was controversially dismissed in 2007 and barred from returning to Honiara after being seen to interfere in internal politics.

The Prime Minister at the time, Manasseh Sogavare, whose office was raided by police on Mr Castles' orders, says the problems arose mainly from misunderstandings.

"We can understand the position taken by Australia that they are very protective of the national interests in Solomon Islands, and we really have no problem with that. Australia's national interests and security interests in Solomon Islands are same and equal to our national and security interests as well."

Manasseh Sogavare.

Manasseh Sogavare

Manasseh Sogavare Photo: AFP