Thursday, 28 February 2008 1:43 PM

Not Moti's Fault, says Sogavare

The Former Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, presented his testimony at the Magistrate Court yesterday morning as the trial of the former Minister for Commerce, Trade and Immigration, Peter Shanel, continued.

Mr. Sogavare testified that after the appointment of Julian Moti as the Solomon Islands Attorney General, his government made preparations for the arrival of Julian Moti into the country. On which time, Julian Moti should have traveled to the Solomon Islands on a normal commercial flight, but was in turn an illegal entry with the Papua New Guinea military aircraft on the 10th of October 2006.

Mr. Sogavare testified that when he was informed of the arrest of Mr. Moti at Port Moresby, he arranged for some members of the government and few lawyers to travel to PNG to discuss the issue.

Despite the arrest Mr Sogavare said that he still regarded the arrest as illegal. Mr. Sogavare also stated that the flight on board the PNG military craft was the sticking point. "When Mr. Moti arrived at the Munda airport, the only issue that should be considered was the illegal entry of a foreign aircraft".

He said that the police should have dealt with the issue of the illegal landing, "they should be the one to discuss on how to handle these issues," said Mr. Sogavare.

Mr. Sogavare said that unfortunately the former Police Commissioner, Mr. Shane Castles, was not cooperating with the Solomon Islands government when the issue was brought to his attention..

Mr. Sogavare made it clear to the court that the National Parliament was already informed of Moti's arrival into the Solomon Islands, maintaining that the issue is the illegal entry of a Papua New Guinean military plane.

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