SOLOMONS NAME SURI AS NEW ATTORNEY GENERAL

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 24, 2008) – New Solomon Islands Attorney General Gabriel Suri vows to improve work culture of Government lawyers and look into certain appointments within the chamber.

Mr Suri was sworn-in yesterday as the replacement for Julian Moti who was deported to face child-sex charges in Australia.

He will be acting Attorney General for the next six months.

Mr Moti, during his short tenure, was alleged to have handpicked close associates to take-up positions within the chambers.

Mr Suri said he will look into the issue but he will not use it as a way to terminate lawyers from the AG's Chambers.

He instead, seeks to take the lawyers to task and to be answerable to their duties.

Mr Suri wants to see his lawyers lift up the standard of their practice within the chamber to an effective level.

He said he would rather judge his staff by work performance than how they got in.

"I want to see the lawyers deliver and have a good working culture," Mr Suri said.

Since day one of his appointment, Mr Suri promised to lift the standard of the chamber to a competitive level.

It's also likely that Mr Suri will facilitate a government's request to have a legal draftsman engaged.

Former legal draftsman Ranjit Hewagama was fired by the Sogavare Government for alleged incompetence. But many believed his sacking was related to Moti’s appointment.

Mr Suri said the new government wants to recruit a new legal draftsman.

The Solomon Star understands that the government wants the lawyer in place to help them put together an integrity bill during its term in office.

The political party integrity bill is aimed at political stability.

Dr Sikua said he would like to see that established during his term as prime minister.

President of Solomon Islands Bar Association Frank Kabui said Mr Suri's appointment is good news for Solomon Islands.

He said as the head of the bar, it needs to have somebody with good reputation not anyone who has charges hanging over his head.

Mr Kabui is one of the many lawyers that strongly opposed to Moti taking up the position because of the child sex charges he face.

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