Moti appointment as Solomons AG withdrawn
Moti appointment as Solomons attorney general withdrawn says the Judicial Commission
The Solomon Islands Attorney General, who is wanted in Australia on child sex charges, has been suspended by his country’s Public Service Commission.
Lawyer Julian Moti, an Australian citizen, is in hiding in the Solomons High Commission in Papua New Guinea, with a warrant out for his arrest from the Australian government.
Canberra’s bid to have Mr Moti extradited has angered the Solomons Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, who insists that he should be allowed to travel to Honiara to take up his new position.
The Solomons Judicial and Legal Service Commission, chaired by Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer, had referred Mr Moti to the PSC for immediate suspension because of the charges against him.
The commission has announced that he has been suspended from the role, but Mr Sogavare says he wasn’t consulted over the move.
But the PSC insists it can act independently and that its decision stands.
Mr Moti is wanted in Australia over an alleged sex offence against a 13-year-old girl in Vanuatu in 1997.
Meanwhile, the Solomons’ government says it is moving urgently to provide Mr Moti with a new passport so he can return home to resume his job.
The Prime Minister’s press secretary, Dili Oso, says as far as the government is concerned, Mr Moti is a free man.
She says he is expected back in the country to start work next week.
“The Solomon Islands government is working on how to bring him over to Honiara and it might mean the issuance of a Solomon Islands passport to Moti.”
Dili Oso says the Solomons government believes Australia should respect its views on Mr Moti’s acquittal.