Gov't on new police chief - Solomon Star News


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Gov't on new police chief

29 July 2014

Questions over whether or not the newly appointed police commissioner Frank Prendergast of Australia will take up his new role is still unclear since he has a case to answer in the Australian Federal Court.

This was in relation to his involvement in the 2011 Christmas Island riot in which he was tapped as saying the riot was manufactured in a way to get attention.

Now that he is the newly appointed police chief of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), it is still unclear whether Canberra can still allow Mr Prendergast to take up the post since his 2 year contract will be funded by Australia.

The Australian High Commission office in the country is also tight lipped over this issue despite questions raised before the Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands received only a “No Comment” answer.

The government of Solomon Islands also is tight lipped over the issue when it was asked to make comments regarding Mr Prendergast’s court case.

But when asked what the government thought about its appointed police commissioner who has a case to answer in Australia’s federal Court, the government through its press secretary said people should respect the appointment of the new police commissioner since it was done through the normal process.

“... people should respect the appointment of the new police commissioner as this was done through the normal selection process.

“Whilst others have their own candidates in mind, we should work together with the new police commissioner rather than criticizing.

“The new police commissioner has not even started taking up his role and we should wait and see how he will be leading our RSIPF before making criticisms about him,” press secretary to the Prime Minister Douglas Marau said.

The Solomon Star understands the new police commissioner is yet to arrive in the country to take his oath at the Government House.

The date for his swearing in is also not known as the government did not come out clear with a specific date for the new police chief’s commissioning.

The newly appointed police commissioner came under attack after revelations of his court case was brought to light by the Malaita Ma’asina Forum (MMF) on involvement in the Christmas Island riot when he holds the post of deputy commissioner of the Australian Federal Police (AFP).