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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Solomons opposition wants answers about cost of Moti campaign

The Solomon Islands opposition leader, Fred Fono, has asked the government who has paid for the team of legal advisors that has drawn up a list of questions put to the Australian legal authorities in relationship to the Solomons attorney general, Julian Moti.

A catalogue of 666 question was prepared as Australia has been demanding the extradition of Mr Moti to answer sex charges relating to his time in Vanuatu ten years ago.

Mr Moti is an Australian citizen, whose passport was withdrawn in Papua New Guinea last year just days before he fled to Solomon Islands on a clandestine PNG military flight.

Mr Fono says if it is true that a team has prepared the questions, then the treasury would have spent millions of dollars of public money on just one foreign individual.

He says the money could have been better spent on rural development.

Meanwhile Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, on return from the APEC meeting in Australia yesterday, barred the media from asking any questions relating to the Moti affair.

The Chief of staff Theo Yasause told reporters before the press conference began at the airport not to ask any questions relating to Mr Moti who escaped extradition to Australia by being flown out in a PNG military plane to Solomon Islands.

The Post Courier newspaper says it and other media organisations were keen to ask Sir Michael if the Moti issue surfaced during the APEC meeting.

The newspaper says the National Court is expected to hand down its decision today on whether to nullify the entire PNGDF inquiry into the Moti case.

Source: RNZI

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