I write to thank Andy Muaki for his response to my views on the above subject. While I appreciate his explanation of the appointment and discipline process as it relates to the subject matter, there are more questions raised than answered. These questions were questions raised previously by many concerned Solomon Islanders but no satisfactory response has been provided. I need to raise them here again as it relates to the response from Andy.
The first question is to do with appointment and discipline. Andy states and I quote "The JLSC only considers the appropriate legal qualification of person employed in the Public Service. Constitutionally Moti met all the requirements to be appointed AG. The JLSC did appoint Moti. The JLSC appointment came before Moti was arrested in PNG upon the request from Canberra for crimes committed in Port Vila" end of quote.
So does this mean that the JSLC did not make a background check on people they appoint and rely only on qualification? If this is the case then there is something fundamentaly wrong with our appointment process. In fact, contrary to what Andy believes, the information on Moti's child-sex charges in Vanuatu were known. if they were not known at the time of appointment, the appointment can be revoked when the new information came to hand as Moti had not been honest in revealing all about himself. In addition, to be employed in the Public service or any organisation these days, a Police check is required.
In relation to this, while it is known that the JLSC had recommended the suspension of appointment to PSC and this was acted on for a period of time, the question in the minds of many Solomon Islanders is "what changed in Moti's circumstances from when his appointment was suspended to when it was lifted. Who issued the lifting of the suspension and on what grounds? These the public need to know to have confidence in the process. Has Moti cleared his name in the proper constituted court of law? All these questions always raise suspicion in the minds of the public on whether the JLSC made the decision on their own or were pressured to do so.
On the question of the position of the CJ and the Chair of the JLSC, according the ordinary Solomon Islander they are synonymous. One cannot be the chair of the JLSC unless he/she is the CJ, or someone acting in that capacity. It may be possible in theory, but in practice, ordinary people cannot see the difference. This then takes us to the question of the CJ writing to the PM as the Chair of the JLSC. While this may be so, both the CJ and the JLSC represent the Judicial system in Solomon Islands. If one or both are seen or believed to be demonstrating some bias or make comments that can be interpreted to be biased, the neutrarity of the Judicial system is called into question.
The intention of my message is for the CJ to not be dragged into the defense of a bad decision made previously. Commonsense tells us that it was a bad decision and no amount of justification will change that.
The CJ call on Sikua to stop misleading the Nation.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of John Teddie and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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