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Friday, February 16, 2007

Salika urges Solomon Islands government to send facts on Moti proving that he was cleared by Vanuatu courts

By Julia Daia Bore

The Papua New Guinea Defence Force Board of Inquiry chairman Justice Gibbs Salika yesterday challenged the Solomon Islands government to send over facts and documents showing that Australian fugitive Julian Moti was acquitted of child sex charges.

Judge Salika maintained that his comment as quoted in Tuesday’s issue of the "National Newspaper" saying that the child sex charges case against Moti were not acquitted “were based on the evidence before the inquiry”.

It is understood Justice Salika made these comments yesterday in light of comments by the Solomon Islands Prime Minister’s media adviser Deli Oso, who rejected Justice Salika’s statement that Moti was not cleared by courts in Vanuatu.

Ms Oso said the SI government respected the Vanuatu court’s decision to dismiss the case as being amply exhausted and closed. She was quoted in Wednesday’s issue of the "National Newspaper" as saying she saw no reason why Australia was pursuing the return of Moti to Australia to answer to allegations that were already dismissed in Vanuatu. Ms Oso also said the whole Moti issue from Australia’s point of view was “politically motivated”.

However, Justice Salika said the PNGDF inquiry’s primary task was not Moti’s sex-charge issues in Vanuatu. Rather, it was about who sanctioned the clandestine flight that spirited Moti to Solomon Islands on October 10, last year. He added the child sex charges laid against Moti was unavoidable as the subject of the flight was Moti, using PNG’s Defence Force facilities and manpower.

Source: PNG National

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