17 Oct 2006

Claims authorisation by Solomon Islands' minister for Julian Moti to enter country was falsified

7:43 am on 17 October 2006

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting claims that a written authorisation by a Solomon Islands minister allowing the Australian lawyer Julian Moti to enter the country was falsified.

Julian Moti flew into the Solomons last Tuesday on a clandestine military flight and is in jail in Honiara facing charges of illegal entry and entering without a valid travel document.

The Solomon Islands' Solicitor-General, the Australian Nathan Moshinsky, QC, made the allegation in court in Honiara.

Mr Moshinsky is also the acting Solomons Attorney-General - a position to which Mr Moti was appointed by the Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare.

Mr Moti's lawyer yesterday produced a letter from the Solomons Immigration Minister, Peter Shanel, stating that Mr Moti had permission to enter the country from PNG, although his Australian passport had been cancelled.

Last night Mr Moshinsky asked the High Court to place a stay on the purported entry authorisation, on the grounds that it was likely to result in Mr Moti obtaining bail.

The court refused, but will entertain any new application with Mr Moti legally represented.