Incident Summary:

02/10/2003: During the night local time, Sir Frederick Soaki, a former police commissioner in the Solomon Islands and a member of the country's National Peace Council, was assassinated at the Auki Motel, in Auki, Malaita Province, Solomon Islands. A Police Sergeant, Edmund Sae, was arrested on 03/06/2003 at the Auki police station, though some witnesses suggested that shots were fired before the arrest. On 04/22/2003, Sae escaped from jail after a court hearing, along with three other murder suspects, and has been a fugitive as recently as 02/07/2007. A number of observers have argued that the motivation for the murder was to deny the then-incoming Solomon Islands Police Chief William Morrell from access to Soaki's knowledge of the Solomon Islands Police Force, and thereby weakening his ability to assert control.



Solomon Islands

Australasia & Oceania

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Assassination
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Police
Name of Entity Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP)
Specific Description Sir Frederick Soaki, former Police Commissioner, RSIP
Nationality of Target Solomon Islands
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Unknown
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Edmund Sae was later alleged to be involved in a number of murders of politicians, civilians, and Australian military police, and was also accused of involvement in a plot to assassinate the Solomon Islands Prime Minister in 2006. For more information, see Mary-Louise O'Callaghan, "A devilish job in paradise," The Australian, June 30, 2003 (source 4 in case file), and Lloyd Jones, "PAC: Aust war vet released on bail in Solomons," AAP Newsfeed, February 7, 2003 (not in case file).
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Unknown No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 1
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 1 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 1
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Work of Solomons peace body to continue despite assassination," Radio Australia, February 11, 2003.
"Policeman in custody for Solomons shooting," Radio Australia," March 6, 2003.
"Solomons prison authorities investigate escape of suspects in murder case," Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, April 24, 2003.