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Moti issue ‘led to Sogavare downfall’

Posted: December 16, 2007 at 8:58 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Solomon’s caretaker Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s protection of his Fiji-born Attorney-General, Julian Moti, has been identified as the issue that led to his ousting from national office.

Sogavare was defeated in a no-confidence motion tabled by his former Education Minister Dr Derrick Sikua last week.

Media reports have quoted Opposition Leader Fred Fono as saying that the Julian Moti issue has been damaging for the country.

Fono told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian newspapers that a lot of problems faced by the country in the past year and a half can be traced to the Moti issue.

Moti is wanted in Australia to answer child sex charges.

A Pacnews report says Sogavare’s sacking has thawed the nation’s relations with Australia and lowered tension between Canberra and Papua New Guinea.

It has also resurrected the likelihood of Moti being extradited to Australia to face child-sex charges.

Fono says the new government will make it a priority to rebuild relations with Australia and adds that the first act of the government would be to order Moti’s arrest and extradition.

Moti jumped bail in Port Moresby in October last year – before travelling to the Solomons on a clandestine Papua New Guinea military flight.

The incident caused huge rifts between the Howard government and PNG and the Solomons.