Sogavare’s Moti - Solomon Star News

Sogavare’s Moti

30 January 2014

Dear Editor – I have been monitoring the internet edition of your daily newspaper over the past month chiefly for the purpose of identifying prospective defendants to both civil and criminal proceedings in defamation which I intend to institute to test your legal system’s capacity to discipline the exercise of constitutionally-protected rights of one person’s freedom of expression and another’s freedom from reputational injury.

My personal experience of the “rule of law” prevailing in Solomon Islands during December 2007 and all that I have discovered since then about its defiance and manipulation may have dented my faith in the judicial system, but not my resolve to seek to restore its former glory as a temple of justice.

The appropriate time and venue is when and where I will confront those who persist in displaying both their sheer arrogance and utter ignorance of fact and law in the saga bearing my name.

It is no coincidence that my four letter surname is the Indian word for pearl.

Sadly, “casting pearls before swine” is what my old friend, Honourable Manasseh Sogavare MP has effectively done in replying to the above-captioned letter to the editor penned by somebody named “V Kuma” from Ranadi.

If Kuma does in fact exist and is a person of enough courage and substance to defend both his forked tongue and poisoned pen, could he please be persuaded to unmask himself to the Ranadi Police Station for criminal prosecution and his assets for attachment in a civil suit?

The two premises of Kuma's attack on my professional ethics are factually flawed and cannot languish uncorrected.

At no time did I or my former law firm act for Ms Idlette Lechte or Mamara Estates Development Limited in the acquisition and sale by the Solomon Islands Government of that property. As her lawyer, Ms Jennifer Corrin-Care and her successor law firm, Messrs Sol-Law will readily attest, my law firm was retained to act in that transaction by and for the Solomon Islands Government. Ms Corrin-Care was physically present during the only time I had ever met Ms Lechte at Le Beach House with Late Honourable Christopher Abe.  

Also, neither I nor my former law firm had any connection whatsoever with the establishment of Solomons Mutual Insurance Limited (“SMI”). As Justice James Apaniai and Mr Augustine Rose would readily testify, it was they who presided over the legal affairs of both the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund Board and SMI at all material times to incur the wrath mistakenly and maliciously misdirected at us by Kuma and Sir Peter Kenilorea. My law firm stepped into the breach only to protect, defend and vindicate the legal rights and innocence of both SMI and its promoters in the criminal prosecution initiated by Mr Kevis Bezo Harry. I had never known any of the persons who Kuma describes as my “Sri Lankan cronies” until my law firm was engaged to represent them.

This public refutation of Kuma’s assertions and insinuations serves as a written complaint to the Solomon Islands Police Force to do their duty in enforcing the criminal laws of the country without fear, favour or affection to restore our collective faith in them and justice for all and sundry.

Will we all again be disappointed?

Will Kuma also finally seize this chance to put his money where his mouth is?

Julian R Moti QC CSI
Former Attorney General of Solomon Islands
Suva, Fiji