Dear Editor – Please allow me to reply to the letter from Mt William Ekotani published in your newspaper following my appeal to Edmond Sae to consider handing himself over to the appropriate authorities.
Firstly, I apologise to William and the East Kwara’are chiefs if it was incorrectly judged that my appeal to Edmond Sae was in any way interfering in the local justice system and I must make it clear that I have never before made such a previous appeal, as was implied by William in his letter.
I never suggested anyone was harbouring or assisting Mr Sae to evade the authorities and for William to have hinted the group of chiefs was supporting him was completely wrong. I am well aware of the law and it would have been completely foolish on my part to have made such a statement.
I have no ulterior motive or hidden agenda for having written my appeal other than for the welfare of Mr Sae and his family and ongoing concern for the wife and family of the late Sir Fred.
What ulterior motive could I possibly have in saying I would be prepared to return to the Solomon Island if it would help convince Sae to hand himself over? Such a step would be costly and come from my own pocket.
I happen to consider that an appeal to this long-term fugitive on the run could be a better approach than having to use considerable police resources and maybe even armed force, as tried previously.
I retain an interest in the welfare of all my previous police officers and their families, despite the passing of the years and I repeat my appeal was merely in keeping with my often calls for better support for the police service, including resources, accommodation, housing and training.
I also have a great respect for custom and the position in Solomon’s society of local chiefs and why I made my previous policing policies focus on community participation and the active involvement of customary chiefs and elders.
Again, I stress, Willam, don’t be too hasty in your criticism of an honest and open appeal to a former police officer that once served at the time I had command of the police service, albeit Mr Sae’s alleged case occurred after I had left the Solomon Islands.
Despite what you have said William, rather harshly about me without clearly reading my earlier letter, I still hope that persuasion might still induce Edmond Sae to submit himself to the authorities to have the allegations against him finally investigated.
I also remind you, William, that Mr Sae is alleged to have murdered Fred Soaki and you should be more careful in your choice of words when saying Edmoind Sae is wanted for the murder of the former police commissioner.