The Governor General Sir Frank Kabui says he has no direct authority to pardon life-time prisoners as believed by some people.
Speaking during the Queen’s birthday celebrations last Friday, Sir Frank says some people believe he has the power to grant life-time prisoners’ release on the Queen’s birthday and Independence Day.
He says attempts have been outside proper procedure to directly force him to consider and grant pardons, but he says this is not right.
He says he only acts on the advice of the Prerogative Mercy Committee.
“It all depends upon the work of the Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy. In Solomon Islands the Governor General only acts on the advise of the Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy. He does not do anything alone without the advise of the Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy. In other words, he simply rubber stamps the advise given by the committee.”
Sir Frank says he has only released a prisoner once during his term in the office, and he did so with strict and serious conditions attached.
He says there is now a new committee chaired by a former Attorney General and senior lawyer and he has confidence the committee will dispatch its duty respectfully.