Friday, 7 September 2007 2:23 PM

Sogavare Rejects Assertions by Hooton

The Prime Minister has rejected recent assertions made by Australian High Commissioner, Peter Hooton, concerning the 666 questionnaire and the official extradition rejection letter.

Peter Hooton's recent statements alleged that Attorney General, Julian Moti QC, may have been the principal author of the SIG's 666 Questionnaire along with the recent extradition rejection letter.

"The High Commissioner's suspicions about Attorney General Moti's involvement are based on speculation and contradicted by the truth. His theory is just as flawed as the Australian Government's criminal prosecution of Moti. The truth of the matter is that Moti did not draft the 666 Questionnaire or the extradition rejection letter," Prime Minister Sogavare said.

Sogavare revealed that the government had, in fact, retained an independent team of expert legal and forensic advisers to handle the processing of Australia's extradition request.

"Cabinet and Caucus were fully briefed by them on the legalities and merits of the case before the 666 Questionnaire was submitted to Australia," Mr Sogavare explained.

Sogavare went on to say that Australia's reply was carefully vetted by a team of lawyers advising the government on its legal options and assisted the Minister in formulating the letter which communicated his final decision.