Thursday, 16 December 2010 9:20 AM

Government Told to Respect Separation of Powers

The Public Solicitor has hit back at the government's ultimatum over the Cavanaugh-Lusibaea issue saying the government should allow the criminal justice system to take its natural course without interference.

Finance Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo had issued an ultimatum to explain the sudden departure of Robert Cavanaugh to Cabinet by the seventeenth of this month, suggesting that the lawyer might have been pressured by his employers to leave and that he was not sick as it was stated.

Mr Cavanaugh had been representing the former North Malaita M-P until last Friday when he left the country.

His departure had left Lusibaea high and dry of legal representation for his bail application hearing on the Friday afternoon.

A later hearing of Lusibaea's bail application was refused in court yesterday.

In a letter to Finance Minister Lilo, Public Solicitor Douglas Hou reminded the Minister that the Public Solicitor's Office is an "independent office" established by the Constitution of Solomon Islands and that the matter of the former North Malaita M-P is in the hands of the court.

On the ultimatum to explain to Cabinet why Mr Cavanaugh had left, the Public Solicitor told Minister Lilo that medical reports are private and confidential and only Mr Cavanaugh himself could explain the condition he was suffering from.

Mr Hou told the Minister that the government and country should allow the normal due process of the law to take its natural course without any interference.

He also called on the Minister and the government to exercise restraint with integrity in their roles in society where the rule of law demands independence and separation of powers from the different arms of state.

The letter was delivered to Minister Lilo yesterday.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province