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Castles Pre-Selected For Police Commissioner Post

Castles Pre-selected For Police Commissioner Post

Chairman of the Leadership Code Commission Emmanuel Kauhota said former Police Commissioner, Mr Shane Castles was already earmarked for the job of the Police Commissioner even before the interview for the job took place.

Mr Kauhota said, Mr Castles was pre-selected by the Australian and the Solomon Islands Government, and the interview that was undertaken in March 2005 to select the candidate for the post was "a mere formality", he told the Commission of Inquiry yesterday.

Three candidates, Federal Agent Shane Castles, Federal Agent William Jamiesen and former Police Commissioner, Mr William John Morrell were interviewed for the top police post.

Mr Kauhota said that expelled Australian High Commissioner, Patrick Cole also sat at the interview and also took part in the interview of the two Federal Agents but left during the interview of British citizen, Mr William Morrell.

Mr Kauhota said he does not know who appointed the panel members but only understood that the panel must have the blessing of the Public Service Commission.

Mr Kauhota, who was the Chairman of the interview panel, revealed that he was only chosen to chair the panel on the day of the interview.

He said he was approached because the chair of the panel, Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer decided at the final moments not to attend the interview.

The other members were Mr Toswell Kaua, Secretary to the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Mr George Hiele, Permanent Secretary for Police and National Security and Mr Sam Tagana.

Mr Kauhota noted that before the interview, a number of prepared questions were distributed and adopted by the other members of the panel except himself. He was told that they were prepared by Sir Albert.

But he was surprised that a copy of the same set of questions was also brought into the interview venue by Mr Castles, who was the first to be interviewed.

"When Mr Castles came into the room for the interview he brought with him a folder containing some paper which I realized later were prepared notes, as he was referring to them during the interview. To my surprise, I also noticed that Mr Castles also has a copy of the prepared question", said Mr Kauhota.

Mt Kauhota said his assessment of Mr Castles later angered Mr Patrick Cole because his (Mr Kauhota) assessment of Mr Castles' experience on community policing was rather poor.

During cross-examination of his sworn affidavit, Mr Kauhota told the Commission of Inquiry that the panel only made two recommendations for the post, Mr Castles and Mr Morrell, but the candidate was by the Prime Minister himself.

The Prime Minister then was Sir Allen Kemakeza.


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