Friday, 2 November 2007 1:17 PM

PM should Appear before Commission of Inquiry: Tuhanuku

"The Prime Minister should be summoned by the Commission of Inquiry to give evidence," the Chief Executive Officer of Transparency Solomon Islands, Joses Tuhanuku, said.

Mr. Tuhanuku made the statement in response to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare's threat to sue him amidst issues he raised in an Affidavit presented to the Commission of Enquiry on Monday 29 October 2007.

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

The anti-corruption watchdog said that Mr. Sogavare's threat to sue him has no legal basis.

Mr. Tuhanuku stated that according to section 11 (4) of the Commission of Inquiry Act [Cap. 5], any person who gives evidence to a Commission of Inquiry is entitled to immunity from any legal proceedings such as that threatened by the Prime Minister.

"This provision clearly renders evidence given under oath to such Commission as absolutely privileged and, as such, it cannot be used as the subject matter of any subsequent legal proceedings," he explained.

Mr. Tuhanuku said that threats by the Prime Minister to take legal action against him undermine the proceedings of the Commission.

"Such treat obviously pose the possibility to discourage potential witnesses from giving evidences to the Commission," he said.

Mr. Tuhanuku urged the Commission of Inquiry to question the Prime Minister on issues he raised in his Affidavit.


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