2 Apr 2007

PNG court bars action on Moti report

1:28 pm on 2 April 2007

Papua New Guinea's prime minister and acting Defence Minister Sir Michael Somare has been restrained by the National Court from taking any action on the Defence Force's Board of Inquiry report into the Julian Moti affair.

Mr Moti fled to Solomon Islands on a clandestine PNG military flight after Australia sought his extradition on a sex crime charge.

Last Friday, the Deputy Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia, made the order regarding the final report that was presented to the Prime Minister as Minister for Defence on March the 16th.

The Post Courier says this includes the publication of the report and acting on the findings and recommendations contained in the report until judicial reviews are carried out.

Sir Salamo was satisfied the plaintiffs had an arguable case as the report is said to contain evidence or material, findings and recommendations against the plaintiffs which is likely to tarnish their professional reputation.

The judicial review was brought by Defence Force chief of staff Captain Alois Tom Ur, Colonel Vagi Oala and Chief Secretary Joshua Kalinoe against the board of inquiry members, former Defence Minister Martin Aini, and the state.