Thursday, 6 September 2007 10:51 AM

Govt. Formally Rejects Moti Extradition Request

The formal rejection by the Solomon Islands Government to Australia's request for the extradition of Julian Moti back to Australia has raised "deep concern".

Mr. Moti, who was recently appointed Solomon Islands Attorney General, is wanted by Australia to face child sex-related charges, allegedly committed in Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

However, the Solomon Islands government turned down the request, reportedly on the assertions that Australia is "motivated by the desire to punish Moti on account of his race, religion, nationality or political opinions" and would not give Mr. Moti a fair trial in Australia.

Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Peter Hooton, expressed his country's deep concern over the assertions, stressing that Mr. Moti "is an Australian and Australia is one of the most racially and spiritually diverse countries in the world..." accommodating all shades of political opinion.

Mr. Hooton said that despite Australia having replied to each of the 666 questions by the Solomon Islands government, it doubts that this response would make a difference as the Solomon Islands government has long made clear its position on the Moti issue.

He posed on the possibility of Mr. Moti being highly likely the principal author of the government's rejection letter.

But he stressed that Mr. Moti has yet to face trial or be acquitted of the offences for which his extradition is sought.

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