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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Latest updates on the Moti saga as of this evening

Julian Moti [front] escorted by RAMSI police officer, followed by Chris Hapa and Robson Djiokovic after arriving in Honiara airport from Munda in a chopper this afternoon.[pic from SIBC]

A reliable source at the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation has stated that the now suspended Solomon Islands Attorney General, Mr Julian Moti, who has sneaked into Solomon Islands territory via Munda airport early this morning is currently detained at the Rove Prison Compound in Honiara.

The source revealed that Moti was urgently airlifted from Munda to Honiara on a RAMSI helicopter late this afternoon. They have just arrived in Honiara at around 5.15pm Solomon time and escorted by police to Rove, where he is expected to be detained for entering the country without a Solomon Islands passport.

Meanwhile, the Papua New Guinea Government has confirmed that one of its military aircraft was used to help the Solomon Islands fugitive Attorney-General Julian Moti escape from Port Moresby this morning. However, the spokeswoman said the PNG Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, did not order the Defence Force to help Mr Moti.

PNG's Justice Minister Bire Kimesopa says he is disgusted those responsible for Mr Moti's escape have ignored the laws of PNG. "Now if state institutions are deliberately getting involved, circumventing the rule of law, that's a terrible problem in this country, so I certainly hope that's not the case," he said.

Earlier during the day, the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, says Mr Moti can only be extradited to Australia with the cooperation of the Solomon Islands' Government. He says Australian authorities in the Solomons do not have the power to arrest Mr Moti, but the country's authorities appear to have cooperated so far.

"I think it's important that somebody who is facing charges as serious as child sex charges be made to go to court and face those charges, he should be sent from Solomon Islands back to Australia," he said.

Source: SIBC

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