Solomons PM Accused Of Interfering With Police On Behalf Of Son

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Lilo reportedly directed officers to release boy from custody after assault

By Daniel Namosuaia

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 24, 2014) – Solomon Islands’ caretaker Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo has been reported to have interfered with police’s standard procedures by directing Police officers to release his son from custody.

This follows an arrest police made at Vavaya Ridge on Tuesday at around 8.30 pm.

It was reported the boy whom Lilo claimed to be his son was drunk and assaulted another boy age between 12-15 years.

An inside source revealed after the boy was placed in custody, Lilo called and directed police bosses to release the boy because he was his son.

The Solomon Star found out that this boy was the gardener of Lilo and a relative of his wife.

The source said just after two and half hours in custody, the boy was released after being charged.

The source has further revealed the release of the boy did not go down well with officers who are on duty at that time who said according to their assessment, the boy should have spent the night in jail since he was drunk.

However, since the directive had come from the Caretaker PM, it was reported the Acting Commissioner of Police Honiara City directed officers on duty to release the boy.

"Officers on duty were frustrated by this directive because from their assessment, this boy should spend the night in custody until the next day since he was too drunk.

"According to police procedures, someone who is drunk cannot be released until he is sober to be questioned before released," the source said.

The officer who wishes to speak on condition of anonymity questioned Lilo’s authority to override police processes and procedures.

He asked what authority does Lilo have over the laws of this country to just direct police to do as he pleases.

Police Central has confirmed the boy was charged and released the same night (Tuesday night).

This has raised serious questions into the integrity and independence of the RSIPF and what powers Lilo has over the laws of this country.

When Lilo was asked through a spokesperson about the matter, he denied giving any directives to police.

A spokesman for Lilo said what the Caretaker PM did was asking police for bail.

He said since there is no Magistrate available late that night, the boy was charged and released.

Lilo’s spokesman added if Lilo actually ordered the boy to be released, he would not have been charged.

The Solomon Star understands the boy will appear in court on Nov 3.

This report does not go down well with top police officials who believed to have been pressured by someone to call Solomon Star on Wednesday night requesting this report not to be published claiming it was not true.

The calls came in between 8-9pm Wednesday night by the Police Commissioner’s Chief of Staff Anika Nausi and APC Honiara City Gabriel Manelusi.

The calls came half an hour after this paper contacted Lilo for comments on the issue.

Mrs Nausi told this paper not to publish the report because it was not true. She said according to police policies, anything that goes out into the media has to be authorised by the Commissioner of Police’s office.

"Anything reported without the consent of the Police Commissioner’s office should not be published since it was not true."

Few minutes later another call came in from the Acting Police Commissioner Honiara City Gabriel Manelusi.

He also denied the PM giving any directives for the release of the boy being arrested.

Manelusi said to his understanding the report that Lilo has directed them to release the boy was not true.

He said what actually happened was that he was informed of the issue and has advised his manager and the PPC to make their judgement of the boy and make their decision.

Manelusi said if the supervising officer believes from their sound judgement that the status and situation of the boy is fine then he can be charged and released, but if not then he shouldn’t.

He also told this paper not to publish this story since it was not true since it will mislead the public.

But fresh information which emerged has revealed Mr Lilo has directed the Police bosses to release the boy since he was his son.

And that directive was passed on to the officers on duty who were so furious but can’t do anything since they just have to follow what their bosses said, it was revealed.

When this paper asked Ms Nausi and Mr Manelusi why they called to ask about the report when it should be this paper who supposed to call them to comment on the issue, they said they got their report from their source.

Asked what charges was laid on the boy, Manelusi said the boy was charged with common assault.

But the PM’s spokesman said the boy was charged with Misdeamer.

Asked if the boy was drunk, the PM’s spokesman said the boy was not drunk.

Manelusi when asked said he was informed by officers on duty the boy was a ‘little bit’ drunk.

However the source told this paper the boy was ‘very’ drunk.

Meanwhile the source claimed this was not a new practice where Police bosses listen to top government officials whenever they give directives.

"This is a clear picture of what has been happening over the years. Some of us tried very hard to do our job honestly, while others are being pulled by the noses and corrupt the force," the source said.

The news of this issue has got top police under pressure. This paper is aware the bosses have asked around and now trying to find out who leaked the information to the media which they claimed was a false report.

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