26 Feb 2007

PNG Defence Force Inquiry findings into Moti affair could still be presented

11:27 am on 26 February 2007

A PNG Defence Force inquiry into the escape of the wanted Australian lawyer, Julian Moti, is still expected to present its controversial findings despite being disbanded by the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare.

The board of inquiry, due to present its findings to the government next week, has found that Sir Michael must have known about the clandestine PNG military flight that helped Mr Moti avoid extradition to Australia to face child sex charges.

The AAP news agency says the board's preliminary findings focused on two diplomatic notes sent to PNG when Mr Moti was taking refuge at the Solomon Islands High Commission in Port Moresby in October.

The board, headed by Justice Gibbs Salika, said it was unlikely any diplomatic note would not have been passed on by government staff to the prime minister.

Sir Michael has consistently denied sanctioning the flight and last week filed an affidavit with the inquiry repeating his position.