SOLOMON RIOT WITNESSES TELL STORY IN COURT

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 21) – Solomon Islands Police have offered to pay for school fees of one of the key-witnesses to give evidence against those accused of the April 2006 Riots.

The stunning revelation was contained in highly protected documents, surrendered to the defence this week after a court order, and obtained by Solomon Star.

The documents signed by former Police Commissioner Shane Castles in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with key witnesses, Stanley Takika and Willie Titia also offered attractive benefits to the two men.

MP for East Honiara Charles Dausabea, his Central Honiara colleague Nelson Neé, former MP for South Malaita Alex Bartlett and once Honiara City Council Mayor David Dausabea are facing the charges.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding singed between Mr Castles and Mr Takika, allowed the latter to use a supplied mobile phone – only for contact with investigators and welfare/safety calls to family members.

"Any additional call costs will not be covered by police and must be paid by Stanley Takika," the MOU said.

However, food/incidental expenses will be considered on a needs basis; and that outstanding school fees for the 2006 period will be paid by the police due to the witness being unable to seek employment while being a part of the witness management plan.

In contrast, the former commissioner’s MOU with Mr Titia revealed that assistance with food and essential living items will be paid until the end of the court proceedings; and travel from place of residence to Honiara for court commitments will be paid by police as well.

Police will also meet the initial establishment costs at relocated residence. In this case, police had helped Mr Titia to move to Western Province.

In return, the police expected Mr Titia and Mr Takika not to tell anyone how they were assisted by police under the witness management plan.

The protection of the witness plan — is among nine terms and conditions agreed to by Mr Castles and the two witnesses, which they all signed.

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