Friday, 4 January 2008 5:11 PM

Former Solomons Attorney General was Granted Asylum Status

Former attorney general, Julian Moti, now facing alleged child sex charges in Australia, was given asylum status by the former Grand Coalition for Change government of Manasseh Sogavare.

It had transpired through court documents that the former government had granted Mr. Moti asylum status from October 2, 2006, before he flew into the country on board a PNG-defence force aircraft on October 10 the same year.

Among others, it was his asylum status granted by the Sogavare-led government that Mr. Moti had relied on in his late attempt to get a High Court order to restrain the present government from proceeding with his deportation to Australia.

The High Court, however, refused the application.

Mr. Moti then appealed the High Court's refusal of his application.

But in an urgent hearing on the eve of Christmas, Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer, who presided over the case in his appellate jurisdiction, also refused to grant leave.

The High court instead ruled that Mr. Moti's status of asylee ended when he lost his job as attorney general.

Meanwhile, a government spokesman has raised concern about the way the former government was silent about Mr. Moti's asylum status.

He said the issue was never made known to the public and he questioned if right procedures were followed in granting Mr. Moti asylum status.