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Friday, October 13, 2006

Chief Michael Somare maintains his statement had no connection with Moti escape

By Isaac Nicholas

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Foreign Affairs Sir Michael Somare expressed regret over the incident regarding the departure of Julian Moti from Papua New Guinea to the Solomon Islands.

Sir Michael stated that the action was not sanctioned by his Government and that those responsible have to be dealt with appropriately. He said given the seriousness of the case, the government had instituted an official investigation into the events leading up to the departure of Mr Moti, including who was responsible and involved in authorising his departure.

The outcome of the investigation will be submitted to him by next Monday for further appropriate action to be taken against those responsible, including referral to police and other appropriate law enforcement agencies.

The Prime Minister said there was a case regarding Mr Moti which was currently before the courts of PNG, and therefore Mr Moti’s departure maybe legally incorrect. He added that the PNG Government was also fully aware of the extradition process currently underway as requested by Australia, a close friend of PNG and neighbour.

Sir Michael said that his statement, as quoted in the media on Oct 4 about Mr Moti’s free passage to Solomon Islands, had no connection whatsoever with the departure of Mr Moti on tuesday this week.

Source: The PNG National

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