Wednesday, 13 June 2007 8:09 AM

It Was Not a Bribe, says Fono

The Opposition Leader Fred Fono has confirmed that the Opposition did assist a certain government minister when he requested financial assistance to have his son educated in New Zealand.

Mr Fono says the Opposition is somewhat baffled that the Prime Minister had not bothered to find out more about the rendered financial assistance before he exposed what he believed to have been a bribe.

The Prime Minister last week displayed a sum of 50-thousand dollars to local reporters claiming it was a bribe to one of his ministers by a Honiara businessman, a supposed agent of the Opposition group.

SIBC revealed that a statement issued to the media by the Opposition said that Mr Fono has in his possession the written evidence of the request for financial assistance from the minister.

Mr Fono however would not disclose the amount of funding assistance the Opposition had given to the minister.

The Opposition leader said that what they did was not a crime, nor is it corrupt as alluded to by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Mr Fono says the Opposition welcomes the call by Mr Sogavare for Police to investigate the allegation of bribery.

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