19 Jan 2007

PNG Government lawyers to apply in court to stop Moti inquiry

4:03 pm on 19 January 2007

Lawyers from the Papua New Guinea Attorney General and the State Solicitor's office have made an application in court today to question the jurisdiction of the Defence Force board of inquiry into Julian Moti's clandestine escape.

The inquiry into who helped the Solomon Island's suspended Attorney General leave PNG in a defence force plane last October began several weeks ago and was to report to the Defence Minister next month.

But, in its third attempt to stop the inquiry, the PNG government has applied to the National Court for a judicial review.

Our correspondent in Port Moresby, Alex Rheeney says it appears that the government is acting because the inquiry is closing in on those behind Mr Moti's escape.

"While the inquiry still maintains that no names have actually been given the direction for Moti to be flown out, they're actually closing in on the people because the key witnesses have indicates so far that the directions have come from the office of the Prime Minister."

Alex Rheeney