24 Nov 2006

Australia appoint new high commissioner to PNG

4:26 pm on 24 November 2006

Australia has appointed a senior legal adviser at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as its next high commissioner to Papua New Guinea.

Chris Moraitis will take over next month from Michael Potts who has been commissioner since March 2003.

Mr Moraitis has served in Paris, in Madrid in Geneva.

He will take up his new post in the aftermath of the Julian Moti affair which has strained relations between PNG and Australia.

Canberra cancelled ministerial contacts after PNG government officials assisted the controversial Australian lawyer to escape to the Solomon Islands on a PNG military flight when Australian authorities wanted him extradited to face child sex charges.