Tuesday, 30 October 2007 4:38 PM

TSI Executive Officer Responds to Charges

The Executive Officer of the Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) said decisions to press charges on views raised in the media is a right not to be disputed.

In an interview, Joses Tuhanuku said that both the Prime Minister and the Commissioner of Police have the right to take the issue to court.

Both the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and the Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Jahir Khan, reacted to views given by Mr. Tuhanuku against them on two separate issues in the media.

Mr. Sogavare was alleged to have succumbed to corruption in his decision to support the Snyder Rini camp when he was elected Prime Minister, later supporting the Opposition's Motion of No Confidence.

On a separate issue, Mr. Tuhanuku had alleged that the government's opposition to RAMSI is encouraging corrupt officers to return to their old ways, which includes letting people off charges.

However, both allegations have been strongly refuted by Mr. Sogavare and Mr. Khan, and, in response, consider pressing charges against Mr. Tuhanuku of defamation of character and making false allegations.

On statements made against the local police force, Mr. Tuhanuku said views put across were based on what he sees currently happening in the Solomon Islands Police Force (SIPF).

"I see that the old ways of the police officers seem to be coming back, and the Commissioner of Police has the right to take the matter to court to deal with it and I will defend myself," he added.

He said that what is happening within the force "is exactly what happened in the country before RAMSI came to the Solomon Islands".

The Executive TSI Officer said that SIPF has improved until the new Commissioner of Police had taken the post.

"The anti-RAMSI attitude displayed by the Solomon Islands Government has, in turn, affected the work output of the police force," he said. "Being dependent on the government, the SIPF is sure to be influenced down the track."

"I believe the people of this country do not want this type of system, so something has to be done about it," said Mr. Tuhanuku.

He said that with help and support given to the SIPF, improvement and development will surely take place in the country.

Mr. Tuhanuku complimented SIPF as "one of the top Police Force in the Pacific" since working with RAMSI after the coup.

He said that following the arrival of RAMSI, a lot of improvement has taken place in the Solomons with the "right things" happening within the SIPF in cooperation with the mission.

Mr. Tuhanuku added that more reformation has since taken place within the SIPF and better training given to local officers, equipping them to do better for the country.

"The Commissioner of Police should be more focused on building the police force and proving to public that the trust can once again be placed on the SIPF to take the country back to being the Happy Isles," the Executive Officer of TSI, Mr. Tuhanuku, said.