Thursday, 17 December 2009 8:59 AM

Moti Exoneration is No Surprise: Sogavare

The Solomon Islands opposition leader Manasseh Sogavare says he's not surprised that the former Solomon Islands attorney-general Julian Moti has won a battle to have child sex charges against him dropped.

Mr Moti was arrested at Brisbane International Airport in December 2007, and charged with seven counts relating to the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl in Noumea and Vanuatu in 1997.

But on Tuesday, a Brisbane judge ordered all charges against Mr Moti be dropped.
Mr Sogavare, who as Prime Minister had appointed Mr Moti to the Attorney General's post, still contends that Mr Moti's sacking in 2007 by the current government was illegal and that he must be paid his legal entitlements.

"There are quite a number of issues that we are going to take up and like I said he is still effectively the Attorney General of Solomon Islands because his termination was illegal, he was deported illegally, so these are matters that I guess maybe we will sit with our lawyers and take it up."

Manasseh Sogavare says if he was returned to government he would be willing to re-install Mr Moti as Attorney General.