18 Dec 2006

Solomons immigration director says Moti paper fine

2:45 pm on 18 December 2006

The Solomon Islands government has hit back at claims that the permit which led to charges being dropped against the suspended Attorney General, Julian Moti, is suspicious.

The Immigration Director, Jeffrey Deve, says that the entry and residency permit produced last week by Mr Moti after he arrived on a clandestine flight from Papua New Guinea in October was valid.

The magistrates court in Honiara has dropped charges of illegal entry against Mr Moti on the basis of the permit.

The police commissioner, Shane Castles, has questioned the document's authenticity and plans to have it forensically examined.

Mr Deve says it had been renewed, but he couldn't specify when.

"The document, the renewed permit to enter and reside, as a document is authentic and is issued under the Immigration charter of this country."

Jeffrey Deve.

Mr Castles claims he was told earlier by immigration officials that Mr Moti's permit had expired.