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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Australia’s foreign minister wants PNG government to release inquiry into Julian Moti

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has called on the Papua New Guinea Government to release a document that recommends charges be brought against PNG Prime Minister Michael Somare.

A PNG Defence Force Inquiry has recommended charges be laid against Sir Michael for allegedly ordering a clandestine military flight to help Australian lawyer and alleged paedophile Julian Moti escape to the Solomon Islands, News Ltd reports.

Mr Moti was arrested at Port Moresby on September 29 last year over the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl in Vanuatu in 1997. The Australian-trained lawyer, of Fiji-Indian background, then escaped to the Solomons on a secret PNG military flight on October 10.

The inquiry report recommends laying charges against Sir Michael for allegedly ordering the flight at the request of Solomons Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. Mr Sogavare has repeatedly blocked Australia’s efforts to extradite Mr Moti, who is an Australian citizen.

Mr Downer said the report suggested that charges should be brought against the PNG Prime Minister for “his alleged involvement in the flight of Moti to Solomon Islands.”

“This report, if it is accurate, is a very great concern to us,” he said.
“We believe that the Papua New Guinea Government should now come forward and make this document publicly available rather than it trickling out through leaks.”

A National Alliance spokesman said yesterday, “If the Australian media in collaboration with PNG politicians want to determine the outcome of the formation of government, I wish them luck. “National Alliance does not have to depend on luck, the people of Papua New Guinea have spoken through the polls.

The National Alliance spokeman says Papua New Guinean people want leaders that can deliver political and economic independence, not leaders that go crying at a drop of a hat to the Australian public.


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