16 Jul 2010

Sex charges reinstated against former Solomons Attorney General

3:36 pm on 16 July 2010

Child sex charges have been reinstated against the former Solomon Islands Attorney-General, Julian Moti, following a ruling by Queensland's Court of Appeal.

In a written judgment handed down on Friday, the court ruled a decision made last year to stay the charges, which relate to the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl in Vanuatu in 1997, was incorrect.

The setting aside of the stay order means Mr Moti will now stand trial in the Supreme Court in Brisbane on seven counts of engaging in sexual intercourse with a person aged under 16.

Justice Debbie Mullins threw out the case in December last year, saying payments the Australian Federal Police made to the girl and her family in 2008 and 2009 had brought the administration of justice into disrepute.

The court was told that the girl and her family had received tens of thousands of dollars in payments from the AFP.

The Court of Appeal says there's a need for tighter guidelines on how the AFP goes about ensuring witnesses are available for trial.

But it ruled the course the AFP adopted in this case was not in breach of existing procedures.