17 Jan 2007

Solomons opposition accuses PM of sabotaging Moti investigations

6:39 pm on 17 January 2007

The Solomon Islands Opposition is accusing the Prime Minister of sabotaging investigations into his associate, Australian lawyer Julian Moti.

The Opposition leader, Fred Fono, says the Manasseh Sogavare-led government sacked the former police commissioner Shane Castles because he was closing the net on senior government leaders involved with Mr Moti.

Mr Fono says he believes the government had prior knowledge of the secret Papua New Guinea Defence Force flight which spirited the fugitive to the Solomons after he skipped bail following his arrest in Port Moresby.

"Our Prime Minister may have known very well the arrangement to get Julian Moti out from Papua New Guinea to Solomon Islands. The investigations are continuing and they will be very much implicated."

Mr Fono says the Opposition is convinced there's a cover up in place and wants investigations to continue, despite the police commissioner being banned from returning.

Mr Moti was facing charges of illegal entry which were withdrawn by the Honiara magistrates court in December after a work permit was presented in court.