17 Oct 2006

Solomons considers taking Moti case to ICJ

2:26 pm on 17 October 2006

The Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, is prepared to take the Julian Moti case to the International Court of Justice.

Mr Moti, who is the suspended Solomons attorney-general, is wanted by Australia for an alleged sex crime but the Solomons government has refused to extradite him.

Mr Sogavare says the Solomon Islands government is prepared take the Moti case to the limit by adopting a law supporting a relevant United Nations Convention of which Australia is a signatory in order to protect Mr Moti from arrest in any country.

Mr Sogavare says as Mr Moti, who is an Australian citizen, was a Solomon Islands government official, Honiara had the responsibility to ensure his dignity and presumption of innocence was provided under law.

Prime Minister Sogavare warns that if Australia continues to disrespect Solomon Islands laws, the parliament won't hesitate to repeal the International Facilitation Act that allowed the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands into the country and also review Australia's participation in the mission.

The government says it already has contingency arrangements in place for replacement of Australian military and police contingent in RAMSI.

Mr Sogavare says he doesn't want the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, to push Solomon Islands government to make a decision that would not be in the best interest of Solomon Islands.