10 Jul 2007

Controversial Australian lawyer sworn in as attorney general in Solomon Islands

7:50 pm on 10 July 2007

The fugitive Australian lawyer Julian Moti has been sworn in as Solomon Islands attorney general.

The governor-general Sir Nathanial Waena swore in Mr Moti as attorney-general at Government House in Honiara this afternoon

However the Public Service Commission says that Mr Moti, who is wanted by Australia on child sex charges dating back to 1997 in Vanuatu, is still suspended.

His appointment was suspended by the Commission until such time as his name was cleared of the charges.

The chairman of the Commission, Edmund Andresen, says the High Court case challenging Mr Moti's suspension is still ongoing.

The Australian prime minister, John Howard, has described the swearing-in of Mr Moti as very provocative and insensitive.