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Monday, May 14, 2007

Downer stresses that charges against Moti can only be dealt with by the Australian Courts and not diplomatic negotiation

Australia's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer says child sex charges against the nominated Attorney General of Solomon Islands, Julian Moti, will not be dealt with through diplomatic negotiation.

Alexander Downer says Australia's independent Director of Public Prosecutions has laid charges against Mr Moti, which should be heard in an Australian court.

The Prime Minister of the Solomons, Manasseh Sogavare, has called on Mr Downer to produce more evidence in support of the extradition request for Mr Moti.

Mr Downer says it would make sense for Solomon Islands Government to return Mr Moti to Australia so the case can be heard.

"It's the court which is the forum for hearing the charges," Mr Downer said.

"And it's for the court to make decisions about Mr Moti. Not for the Australian Government to negotiate those charges and to present the evidence to Mr Sogavare."

Source: Radio Australia

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