By Alfred Sasako
CHARLES Dausabea – the first MP convicted of diversion of public funds soon after the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) landed in Honiara in 2003 – has lashed out at the Police Commissioner for the delays in prosecution of MPs.
“I don’t know why Commissioner Matthew Varley is not doing anything about MPs who squandered tens of millions over the years. It was happening under the nose of RAMSI’s 10-year law and order tenure in Solomon Islands?
“The Commissioner should tell this nation if he has abandoned cases of MPs including those who diverted millions from the National Cattle Rehabilitation Project.
“These are public funds, are they not?” Mr Dausabea asked.
Commissioner Varley told a news conference last week that 75 cases were under active corruption investigation. He did not specify whether all involved politicians.
Mr Dausabea said some politicians were getting away with murder, compared with what he went to jail for.
“My case involves a lousy $40, 000 which I never used on myself or my family, quite opposite of what is happening today. I recalled that day when I was still taking my oath of office when two Australian Federal Police Officers were actually waiting for me on the steps of Parliament House.
“I simply walked into their hands. My case was not even prepared and yet I was arrested even before any investigation was undertaken. I know politics was involved, but that is not the point,” Mr Dausabea told Island Sun over the weekend.
“The point is that it was diversion of public funds. Why is it taking so long for police to arrest anyone in relation to the misuse of the National Cattle Rehabilitation Fund? It is one of the simplest cases to investigate and nail someone on it,” the former policeman said.
Mr Dausabea said there was ample evidence to suggest that several MPs had misused the funds and someone within the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) is protecting them.
“Unless police have destroyed the files, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Office in Auki has evidence that the funds were diverted. There is also a report on an audit undertaken by the Office of the Auditor General back in 2009.
“Now why is police not acting on the recommendations of this report,” Mr Dausabea said.
Mr Dausabea said the statement by the Commissioner last week giving details of what was going on within the RSIPF “simply shows the Commissioner is not in control and someone else is running the show.”