SOLOMONS PRIME MINISTER SUES NEWSPAPER FOR DEFAMATION

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Claims story of misbehavior at UN inaccurate

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 7, 2009) – Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua is suing the Island Sun newspaper for defamation of character.

He and Secretary to Cabinet Jeremiah Manele have filed a joint suit in the High Court against the newspaper on April 27.

This was over a news article the paper published last year.

The article alleged Dr Sikua and Mr.Manele got drunk while attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York and misbehaved in a hotel there.

They both denied the allegation and accused the paper of defaming their characters.

A spokesman from the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed Dr Sikua and Manele filed the joint action.

"This is a private case so they’ve engaged private lawyer Primo Afeau," the spokesman said.

The High Court confirmed receiving the case, but said they are yet to set a date for hearing.

Dr Sikua and Manele threatened to sue the paper immediately after the article was published, but they haven’t filed that until last week.

Island Sun editor Priestley Habru said yesterday they’ve received documents on the case from the High Court.

"Our lawyer is preparing our defence," Mr. Habru said.

Earlier, he said they stand by their report and are prepared to go to the court over the matter.

Solomon Star: http://www.solomonstarnews.com/

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