12 Oct 2006

More details on earlier attempt to spirit Julian Moti out of PNG

7:01 pm on 12 October 2006

It's alleged that the Solomon Islands government tried to spirit fugitive Julian Moti out of Papua New Guinea on a charter flight to escape arrest on child sex charges.

Mr Moti is the suspended Solomons attorney general, whose Australian passport had been cancelled while he was in PNG.

Airlines PNG, the country's second-largest airline, says the charter of a Dash-8 aircraft was ordered by Solomons Airlines on behalf of the Solomons government at the end of last month.

But when the unspecified passenger or passengers failed to show, the aircrews were sent home.

Airlines PNG managing director, Simon Wild, says the airline received a request from Solomons Airlines to organise a charter from Port Moresby to the Solomons for September 30, or the next day.

Mr Wild says Airlines PNG requested that all correct approvals be done but had no idea of passenger numbers or identities.

"Solomon Airlines asked us for a charter to go, what instructions they were given we really can't say there. We do know that Solomons were going to then recharge their government, or something like that I believe."

The charter would have cost more than 20,000 US dollars, but no money was paid.