Media Release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Monday 8 December 2003

Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI)

Arrest of Andrew Te’e

RAMSI Police and RSIP arrested former Isatabu Freedom Movement (IFM) Commander Andrew Te’e, on the morning of Monday 8 December.  Te’e was arrested in the village of Pure Pure on the Weathercoast of Guadalcanal.

Te’e has been charged with three counts of murder in relation to the deaths of:

In relation to the arrest, Acting Police Commissioner Ben McDevitt said:

“This is a very significant arrest by police and sends a clear message that the rule of law has returned to Solomon Islands.  It also sends a very clear message to the community that no one is above the law.  It does not matter where they are from, or where they reside; if they have committed a crime, all will be treated equally under the law of Solomon Islands.”

RAMSI Police have now made over 600 arrests and laid over 1,000 charges since their arrival on 24 July 2003.  Forty-eight of these charges are in relation to murder.

Te’e is scheduled to appear in the Honiara Magistrates’Court later today where RAMSI Police will seek to have him remanded in custody.

Media contact:  Sue Langford,  Office of Special Coordinator (02) 6261 1867