Friday, 14 December 2007 4:01 PM

Khan Defends Trip Out in the Midst of Political Crisis

Solomon Islands Commissioner of Police, Jahir Khan, refutes claims of deserting his men in the midst of the country's political crisis.

Speaking to PACNEWS from his home in Sigatoka, Fiji, Mr. Khan described the claims as "utter rubbish", stating that his leave was "well known to the government".

Mr. Khan told PACNEWS that Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare granted him 21 days leave to travel back to Fiji to attend to "two urgent businesses".

The Commissioner of Police explained that he is entitled to 21 days leave after serving six months with the Solomon Islands Police Force.

Mr. Khan's comments were in response to critics from the Opposition national security spokesman, William Haomae, of deserting his men ahead of yesterday's Parliamentary no-confidence vote which resulted in the ousting of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Meanwhile, in a separate interview with Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Limited (FBCL), the Commissioner of Police is firm he will return to the Solomon Islands in two weeks time to resume duty.

Mr. Khan said that according to the Governor General, Sir Nathaniel Waena, his contract as Commissioner of Police remains intact.

He said that as a contracted police officer, appointed by the Government under the Constitution and sworn in by the Governor General, the Solomon Islands Government cannot fire him.

"If they have to terminate my contract, they have to pay me out for the remainder of my contract. But there has been no indication as such. They cannot fire me, if they fire me, they pay me out," Mr. Khan told FBCL.

###TIME###