21 Dec 2009

Moti calls for probe into Australia's prosecution

2:47 pm on 21 December 2009

The former Solomon Islands attorney-general, Julian Moti, is calling on Australia's Auditor-General to investigate the costs arising from his botched court case.

Mr Moti, who had been facing child sex charges, was acquitted last week by a Brisbane judge.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports Mr Moti as saying Australian taxpayers should be told how much it cost them to prop up a prosecution that was clearly politically motivated.

Justice Debbie Mullins of the Brisbane Supreme Court upheld Mr Moti's legal application to stay the proceedings, ruling that the prosecution of the charges constituted an abuse of process.

She also said that the payment of nearly 134,000 US dollars by Australian Federal Police to the alleged victim and her family had brought the administration of justice into disrepute.

Mr Moti says the ruling only went part of the way to addressing the systemic abuse in his case.

He says the burning question is why the police had gone to such lengths, and this had little to do with the actual charges.

Mr Moti says the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade had hatched the plot when it was mooted he would become attorney-general of the Solomons.