Friday, 29 February 2008 1:07 PM

Oti Takes to the Stand in Shanel Case

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Patteson Oti, took to the stand, before the magistrates' court, giving evidence on the case of former Minister of Commerce, Trade and Immigration, Mr. Peter Shanel.

Mr. Oti's testimony was based on the much talked about meeting held on the 10th of October 2006 on the arrival of Mr. Julian Moti on board a PNG military plane that landed in Gizo, Western Province.

Mr. Oti recalled that the main agenda during the meeting was the illegal landing of a foreign aircraft. Mr. Oti said that Julian Moti's arrival into the country, without the proper travel documents, was then not the main issue, as he was an appointee of the National Government of Solomon Islands.

Mr. Oti denied sighting the exemption order made for Mr. Moti's travel to the country, although he did sight the emergency travel documents on the 15th of October, five days after Moti's entry.

Oti also suggested that there were no collaboration, between officers in PNG and the Solomon Islands, in the arrangement of the PNG military plane. "I am not aware of any discussions made between the PNG government and any locals about the issue," said Mr. Oti.

The trial continues today.

Letters to the Editor All Letters
By STEVE BANI Vura Heights, East Honiara
By GEOFFREY MAURIASI USP, Lacuala Campus, Fiji
By CHARLES KOULI Gizo, Western Province