Tuesday, 30 October 2007 1:45 PM

PM Considers Defamation Charges on TSI Exec Officer

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare is seriously considering pressing charges of defamation of character against the Executive Officer of Transparency Solomon Islands.

Mr. Sogavare's reaction follows what is said to be "false corruption allegations" made by Joses Tuhanuku against the Prime Minister.

Mr Tuhanuku claimed that Mr Sogavare succumbed to corruption in his decision to support the Snyder Rini camp when he was elected Prime Minister and later supported the Opposition's Motion of no confidence.

Responding to the allegations this morning, Prime Minister Sogavare said whilst the government of Solomon Islands believed and supported freedom of expression, there was a limit to one's entitlement to express his or her opinion about the way other people conduct themselves in the community.

"Being the head of an organization that claims to believe in transparency and accountability does not give Mr Tuhanuku the right to make baseless, gaping statements of opinion that he cannot support with evidence," Mr Sogavare said.

The Prime Minister said he took the allegations seriously because they were totally contradictory to the principles and values he believed in and lived by.

"I share the values and principles advanced by good governance institutions in the country and would never compromise public trust for personal gains," he said.

Mr Sogavare said he has officially lodged a complaint to the Commissioner of Police to have the matter investigated.