4 Mar 2010

PNG report criticises government role in Moti escape

12:53 pm on 4 March 2010

Another official report has condemned the Papua New Guinea government's role in helping Australian Julian Moti flee the country in 2006 despite Australia's request for his extradition.

The Ombudsman Commission report tabled in PNG's parliament says police should investigate the part played by the prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, and other senior PNG government and military officials in the Moti affair.

Mr Moti was put on a PNG military plane and flown from Port Moresby to Solomon Islands in October 2006, although Australia had asked for him to be handed over to face child sex charges.

The report says Mr Moti's initial arrest and detention was unlawful as no warrant had been issued, and his subsequent bail was unlawful as it was not allowed under the relevant act.

It says despite the fact there was no National Executive Council decision to transport Mr Moti to Solomon Islands, key government officials directed and facilitated his transportation on an air force plane to Munda.

Mr Moti was arrested in December 2007 at Brisbane International Airport after being sacked as attorney-general of Solomon Islands and deported from Honiara.

The charges were eventually thrown out last December.