13 Sep 2007

Renewed pressure on PNG PM to table Moti report

1:59 pm on 13 September 2007

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister is expected to come under renewed pressure to table an inquiry report into Australian lawyer Julian Moti's escape last year.

This follows a National Court decision to reject applications by Sir Michael Somare to have the defence force inquiry declared null and void.

The report examined Mr Moti's escape to Solomon Islands on a PNG military flight last October, when he was wanted for extradition to Australia.

Justice Bernard Sakora made the ruling because Sir Michael's lawyers failed to give him a copy of the report, which they said was lost.

But leaked copies of the report have already been circulated on the internet and our correspondent Alex Rheeney says Sir Michael will face fresh calls to table it when parliament resumes next week.

"Now that the National Court has come out with its decision, the pressure will now be put back on Sir Michael to actually table a copy of the report, most likely in parliament. That was the hope of the former Defence Minister, Martin Aini, who actually initiated the whole inquiry. Now the pressure will be on Sir Michael to table the report and even Australia still continues to maintain that the findings of the report should be made public."