Monday, 14 May 2007 2:33 PM

The Courts should decide on Moti's fate: Downer

The Foreign Minister of Australia Alexander Downer stated in a recent interview with Radio Australia that the Courts, and not politicians, should decide on Moti's case.

The Foreign Minister of Australia Alexander Downer stated that the child sex charges against the nominated Attorney-General of the Solomon Islands, Julian Moti, shall not be dealt with through diplomatic negotiation.

Solomons Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has called on Mr Downer to "provide fresh evidence of Moti's case before he will be sent back"

However Mr Downer has stated on Radio Australia that the independent Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Australia has laid charges against Moti, and as such the case should be heard in Australia.

"It would make enormous sense for the Solomon Islands Government to return Moti to Australia so the case can be heard" said Downer. "Not for the Australian Government to negotiate those charges and to present the evidence to Mr Sogavare."

Mr Downer also stated that the court is the forum for hearing the charges and it is up to the Courts to decide on Moti's case.