Tuesday, 25 December 2007 9:13 AM

Moti To Be Extradited

In a last ditch attempt to remain in the Solomon Islands, the Attorney General, Julian Moti QC, has tried unsuccessfully to persuade the courts to stop his impending expulsion.

Moti, in an application to the courts, insisted that he was granted asylum in Solomon Islands and should be protected under the country's constitution.

However, Chief Justice Albert Palmer rejected Moti's application stating that Moti's right to remain in the country was by virtue of his political appointment and not as an individual. Mr. Palmer said whether Moti remained as the Attorney General of Solomon Islands is a government decision and not a legal one.

Prime Minister, Dr. Derek Sikua, has made it clear, in his address to the National Parliament yesterday, that his government will "abide by national and international laws in dealing with the case of Attorney General Julian Moti". It is understood that the Prime Minister has already formally requested the Judicial and Legal Services Commission to revoke Moti's appointment as Attorney General.

Moti, an Australian citizen, is wanted in Australia to face charges relating to an alleged sexual relations with a 13 year old girl in Vanuatu in 1997. Moti has denied the charges, saying they were dismissed in a Vanuatu court and was only revived by Australian authorities to prevent him from becoming Attorney General.

Moti was appointed in July by the former Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, who was ousted in a vote of no-confidence in parliament earlier this month.

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