Ne'e Clarifies Fee Accusation Against Sogavare
Ne'e Clarifies Legal Fee Accusation Against Sogavare
Chairman of the Government Caucus Nelson Ne'e has categorically denied opposition allegations over legal fees paid by the government during his High Court trial in relation to the April riots.
The Opposition group alleged in a paid newspaper advertisement that the legal fees for Mr Ne'e and East Honiara MP Charles Dausabea were paid by the government at the direction of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
But Mr Ne'e said the allegation is mere political propaganda in a desperate attempt to confuse the public about the bad intentions of few individual lawmakers.
"I must say that I totally deny that legal fees for our successful high court case were paid by the government,"
Mr Ne'e said he never requested the government to pay his legal fees during his 8 month unlawful detention at Rove prison.
"I was hiring the services of local lawyer Andrew Nori for only two months to defend my case using money from my own pocket.
"My Brother and my wife actually paid for Nori's legal fees when he took care of my case at the high court," he said. "No cheque was ever paid by the government".
Ne'e said due to personal financial constraints to hire a private lawyer - he sought defence from the Public Solicitors Office.
"Public solicitors Steve Lawrence and Ken Averre took our case since then for 8 solid months.
"If there were fees paid - I don't know who the former minister of finance paid the fees to," Ne'e said.
The Central Honiara MP said it's merely common knowledge that the two public solicitors are paid for under a scheme funded by the Australian government.
"Probably the sacked minister of finance paid money to other private lawyers for my legal fees and if there's any payment made - I want him to provide evidence of that," he said.
Mr Ne'e clarified that he is claiming damages on his personal integrity for being illegally detained for eight months in prison for what is framed against him by other forces.
Mr Ne'e discouraged the opposition from using unfounded claims in newspapers to discredit the good image of Mr Sogavare and his government.
"What I feel now is that the group is running out of allegations to put against the Prime Minister.
"We should not put unfounded allegations in the media to confuse the public," he said.