Wednesday, 8 August 2007 7:57 AM

Speaker Overrules Point of Order on Moti

The Speaker of the National Parliament, Sir Peter Kenilorea, yesterday ruled that Attorney-General, Julian Moti, should be present at parliament meetings as legal advisor to government.

Sir Peter made the ruling following a point of order raised by Opposition Leader, Fred Fono, seeking parliament to exclude the presence of the Attorney-General, Julian Moti.

Mr Fono said he raised the point following a letter from the Public Service Commission that made it clear that they do not recognize Mr Moti's appointment.

Mr Fono stated that the Commission is of the view that its suspension order on Mr Moti is still in place. Fono said that the Commission has also made it clear that it intends to mount a court challenge on Mr Moti's appointment as soon as the Court of Appeal makes a decision on the Primo Afeau case.

Based on the position of the Public Service Commission on Mr Moti's appointment, Opposition Leader Fred Fono said that Mr Moti should not represent government in parliament.

But Speaker, Sir Peter, said such move might prejudice the cases before the court. He said the principle of innocence until proven guilty still persists, and that parliament will continue with the presence of the Attorney-General.