Thursday, 14 April 2011 8:10 AM

Moti Wins Right to Appeal to High Court

Australia's High Court has approved a request for leave by former Solomon Islands Attorney General, Julian Moti, to appeal a Queensland court ruling that allowed the rape trial against him to proceed.

The Fiji-born Australian citizen was first charged in 1999 with sexual assault of a 13-year old girl in Vanuatu, but the charges were discharged a year later.

In 2006, the Australian Federal Police, or AFP, launched an investigation into the allegations under so-called sex tourism laws.

However the AFP's alleged misconduct in its pursuit of Mr Moti, including extraordinary payments made to the family of the alleged victim, has been cited as one of the grounds on which his request was approved.

The second was the questionable legality of Mr Moti's deportation from the Solomon Islands in 2007.

In December 2009, the Queensland Supreme Court issued a permanent stay of proceedings, barring prosecution of Mr Moti.

This decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal last July.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province
By JAQUE FRIEDMAN New Zealand