the very people who were supposed to uphold justice and truth went about establishing a false case against an innocent person, that's what I'm saying that this whole thing was fabricated and it was totally wrong in terms of law and investigation as far as professional conduct is concerned.
- 07/08/2007A former spokesman for the Solomon Islands militant group, the Malaita Eagle Force, who has been acquitted of conspiracy says the charges against him were absurd. The High Court dismissed four charges against Alex Bartlett of murder, arson and riot in relation to last year's riots in Honiara.
Presenter - Sam Seke Speaker - Alex Bartlett, former cabinet minister & Malaita Eagle Force spokesman
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BARTLETT: I feel that my innocence had been vindicated and of course justice and truth prevailed, and I am indeed most grateful.
SEKE: Mr Bartlett the presiding judge, Justice David Cameron in dismissing the charges against you said that the evidence against you was not credible and that no reasonable tribunal could rely on such distorted evidence. Were you expecting him to say something to that effect?
BARTLETT: I don't think the judge per se had said anything in favour of me, but other than interpreting the law was expressing his professional finding on the charges that were brought against me by RAMSI. But as I said all along I had maintained my innocence, and the fact that the judge had gave that ruling revealed very seriously the absurdity of the conspiracy case and other charges that were brought against me.
SEKE: So did you feel that you have been victimised?
BARTLETT: Well if charges were brought against you for which you knew full well you didn't commit or were not involved in such incidents or activity, of course you would feel that you had been victimised, which indeed this case was. And I think it bares very negatively on the investigators and the perpetrators of this case, because as the judge ruled I mean there was just no such meeting, no such activity and for someone to come up and just make up or fabricate or find a case or statement against you is totally absurd.
SEKE: Now Mr Bartlett you have singled out Australian Federal Police officers involved in the investigations, they conducted their investigations in a very unprofessional manner, why did you say that?
BARTLETT: I mean our code of ethics as far as investigation under the British system which Solomon Islands is used to, you bring about a charge against someone when you had adequate information or evidence that that person was involved in a crime. In this case there was no such thing.
SEKE: You have accused the original assistance mission to Solomon Islands, that's RAMSI as the perpetrators, now surely they did not tell the crowd to go down to Chinatown and burn the place and loot it. Why did you say that?
BARTLETT: What I'm saying is that the way they brought about this case against me, the charges against me were totally wrong, totally illegal, and the very people who were supposed to uphold justice and truth went about establishing a false case against an innocent person, that's what I'm saying that this whole thing was fabricated and it was totally wrong in terms of law and investigation as far as professional conduct is concerned.
SEKE: Are you seeking any sort of compensation from anybody for that matter?
BARTLETT: This is a very serious case and we're looking into all possible and exploring all possible avenues to seek remedies because our lives for the last two years have been completely devastated by the actions that were taken by the Australian Federal Police, and they've distorted our lives for very wrong reasons.