SOLOMONS POLICE COMMISSIONER CLAIMS POLITICAL PRESSURE

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MELBOURNE, Australia (Nov.7, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Solomon Islands Police Commissioner Morton Sireheti has resigned, accusing the government led by Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza of applying political pressure to his office.

The commissioner says the pressure was applied to get him to re-employ a special constable he had sacked.

Sireheti alleged that on five separate incidences Kemakeza, certain ministers, members of the caucus and special advisors paid for by the New Zealand government directed him to re-employ a special constable he had sacked in August for breaches of security.

Sireheti said he had repeatedly refused. He said it appears that bad advice had been given by some foreign advisors. At the same time he urged the next commissioner, if he was not a local, to dedicate himself to serving Solomon Islands and not to bend to local and international political pressure. However, Kemakeza has denied any political pressure but said government had asked Sireheti to reconsider hiring the office concerned.

Meanwhile, Sireheti's resignation has yet to be accepted by the prime minister."

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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