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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

PNG Government criticises Australia over Moti extradiction handling

The Papua New Guinean Government has criticised Australia for trying to extradite the newly appointed Solomon Islands Attorney-General, Julian Moti, from Port Moresby.

The Australian Federal Police wants to extradite Mr Moti from PNG to face alleged child sex offences committed in Vanuatu nine years ago.

However the PNG Government says Australia did not follow the proper channels in the lead up to Mr Moti's arrest.

It says Australia's letter requesting Mr Moti's provisional arrest was not signed.

PNG says Australia must take full responsibility for what it calls a diplomatic blunder that has caused political embarrassment.

Mr Moti is free to make his way to the Solomon Islands where he will take up the position of Attorney-General.

Meanwhile, it is understood that Mr Moti is still in Port Moresby and being kept at the Solomon Islands Embassy office in Port Moresby. However, the Australian government is calling on the Solomon Islands government to surrender Mr Moti to the PNG police so that he can be extradicted to face child sex offences in Australia.

In response to PNG's criticism, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer has defended Australia's action by saying Australia has done everything correctly in its attempt to extradite the Solomon Islands Attorney-General to face sex abuse charges.

The PNG Government has accused Australia of not following proper procedure in seeking to extradite Mr Moti, but Mr Downer says that is not true.

"No, no not at all, we've followed the procedures in the appropriate way," he said.

"The court has now given its order, the only thing that's missing is Mr Moti and if he's still in the Solomon Islands High Commission, he should be handed over to the Papua New Guinea authorities."

Source: ABC Online

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