Yep, in classic island fashion…
PM’s lawyer tells news outlets not to publish allegations
A LAWYER acting for Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo yesterday warned all media outlets not to publish allegations of Mr Lilo’s extra-marital affairs.Nuatali Tongarutu issued the warning after a member of the Forum Solomon Islands International (FSII) posted the allegations on the group’s facebook page, which had attracted numerous comments from members.
In the post, it was alleged Mr Lilo paid $5,000 compensation to relatives of a woman he reportedly had an affair with.
This was after relatives of the Malaitan woman wrote a letter to the prime minister last November demanding $150,000 compensation.
Mr Lilo allegedly paid only $5,000 of the amount demanded.
Mrs Tongarutu wrote to FSII’s chief executive officer Ben Afuga hours after the post appeared on the facebook page and demanded its removal.
She said the content of the post was baseless and the allegation bears no element of truth.
“Whoever is responsible in pulling this stunt has a political agenda to publically ridicule the prime minister,” Mrs Tongarutu said.
“There is no evidence to substantiate the article which you have allowed to be posted in your facebook and has already received several comments in response.
“By allowing the article to be posted in your facebook, you are allowing the public to entertain personal grudges against individuals which may have adverse consequences.
“By entertaining the article, you are likely to personally face criminal prosecution on charges of libel as well as being sued for defamation of character.
“I therefore seek your cooperation by immediately pulling out the article from your facebook.”
Mrs Tongarutu copied the letter to all media outlets, warning them “not to publish a baseless and false article in their newspapers otherwise I hold instructions to commence legal proceedings for defamation”.
By last night, FSII has not removed the post from its facebook page.
Instead, Mr Afuga said the FSII management has resolved to refer the matter to the Leadership Code Commission for investigation.
He added his group will be making a position statement on the matter, soon.
The controversy emerged as Prime Minister Lilo left for his home village in Western Province yesterday for a brief holiday.
He stopped over in Munda and boarded a high-speed outboard motor canoe to Rendova island where he’s visiting relatives.
This afternoon, he’ll travel to his home village on Kolombangara island.