The Prime Minister's Office has confirmed that arrangements are being made to have Julian Moti sworn in as Attorney General despite the suspension imposed by the Public Service Commission.The PM's press secretary, Deli Oso, was quoted in Radio New Zealand international stating that Moti's swearing in was supposed to be held yesterday but had to be cancelled in the last minute because of the visit by New Zealand's Foreign Affairs Minister. The press secretary told the media that the swearing in will now be held at the Government House at 2 o'clock this afternoon.
Sources have revealed that Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare wrote a strongly worded letter to the Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Department, Ishmael Avui, instructing him to immediately lift the suspension order imposed by the Public Service Commission on Moti's appointment.
It is understood that Mr. Avui had contacted the Chairman of the Public Service Commission on advice from the PM. The Chairman of the Public Service Commission advised Avui that by writing the letter to lift the suspension, he would be acting in sub-ordination as the power to lift the suspension rests with the Public Service Commission. The Chairman then told the Permanent Secretary that the Commission did not delegate the power to lift the suspension to him either.
The Solomon Times has not been able to determine whether Mr. Avui has written the letter to lift Moti's suspension. Sources close to the Public Service Commission stated that if the Government House went ahead to administer the swearing in of Moti, it would be totally unconstitutional.
There is also a court case pending in the High Court from the Government challenging the suspension imposed on Moti by the Public Service and the High Court has not heard the case yet.
According to the High Court, the court would not hear the case until after the court of appeal hands down its decision on the Primo Afeau's case challenging the Government's decision to terminate him as Attorney General.
The High Court has explained that the issues involved in both cases are very similar and it is necessary to wait until the Court of Appeal hands down its decision on Afeau's case.