PREMIER of Temotu province had admitted being involved in a brawl with a police officer at Lata over the weekend.
Premier Nelson Menale however claimed he was acting in self-defence during the encounter incident with the police officer concerned.
The incident has however raised eye browse and questioned the integrity and credibility of a national leader and a law enforcement agent involving in such unlawful behaviour.
A witness told the Solomon Star that the Premier and the police officer involved in the fight had resulted in each of them sustaining minor injuries.
The incident happened during a fundraising drive organized by Reef community at Lata on Saturday in aid of their church building in the Reef Islands.
Premier Menale said he was forced to join the brawl but only as an act of self-defence alleging the police officer slapped one of his colleagues and kept challenging them.
“Actually I was invited to the fundraising event but on my arrival at the venue the police officer came and tried to chase me away without any reason,” he said.
“To avoid any disturbance I excused myself and left but the police officer followed us and slapped one of my colleagues.
“I tried to tell him to leave us alone but he apparently retaliated by punching me. He provoked me so I reacted in response by pushing him and as a result he fell to the ground,” said Premier Menale.
“So my involvement was merely an act of self-defence,” he said.
Premier Menale said he did not quite understand why the police officer insisted in chasing him out from the function but from what he had been told later, it was for reasons that the premier did not sponsor beer for Nevenema ward.
A provincial police commander in Lata said he was waiting for a report from the police officer concerned.
Premier Menale said he had already reconciled with the police officer who had apologised to him.
BY CHARLES KADAMANA