Saturday, 3 November 2007 8:27 AM

PM Prepared to Give Evidence in Commission of Inquiry

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has stated on the SIBC that he is willing to give evidence should he be requested to do so by the Commission of Inquiry into the April 2006 riots.

Mr Sogavare said a sworn statement would unveil the whole truth about his election as Prime Minister. The Prime Minister also maintained that his election to the top political post merely showed the trust and confidence parliamentarians had in him and his leadership abilities.

Mr Sogavare went on to say that he did not need to be reminded by Mr Tuhanuku of his obligation to give evidence as he was prepared to give his affidavit to the Commission of Inquiry if requested.

Mr Sogavare was responding to a media statements made by the Executive Officer of Transparency Solomon Islands, Joses Tuhanuku, suggesting that the Prime Minister should be summoned to give evidence before the commission about his alleged involvement in the events leading up to the riot.

Earlier this week, in his affidavit to the commission, Mr Tuhanuku said he strongly believed that Mr Sogavare was fully aware that his move to support Snyder Rini for Prime Ministership last year would result in a major public outcry.

The T-S-I Executive Officer stated that as an experienced politician, Mr Sogavare should have known that voting for Tausinga then would have avoided any outcry while voting for Mr Rini would have stirred the people.

Mr Tuhanuku stated that in his opinion, Mr Sogavare's move was deliberate, voluntary and had all the hallmarks of what one might label as a well-calculated manipulation of a seriously risky situation.

He said this could potentially amount to reckless manipulation at its worst, if proven accurate, and therefore warrants a full investigation by the appropriate authorities.

Mr Tuhanuku had said the Prime Minister should tell the nation the truth about his involvement in the events that led to last year's riots.

However, the Prime Minister claims that Mr Tuhanuku had been pro-active in an anti-campaign against his Government for taking tough decisions to protect the sovereignty of Solomon Islands against foreign interests.

Mr Sogavare said he will never sacrifice the ethical leadership values that he always believed and lived by for anything, including the post of Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said Mr Tuhanuku should not take advantage of the legal proceedings immunity granted to witnesses appearing before the Commission of Inquiry, to make false allegations against him.