22 Jan 2007

PNG Defence Minister backs Defence Force inquiry into Julian Moti escape

6:13 am on 22 January 2007

Papua New Guinea's Defence Minister says he will take on board any recommendations from the Defence Force Inquiry

into the escape of Julian Moti last October.

The inquiry into who helped the Solomon Islands' suspended Attorney General escape bail and leave PNG on a defence force plane began several weeks ago and is to report to the Defence Minister next month.

However lawyers from the Attorney General and the State Solicitor's office are making an application in court to question the jurisdiction of the board of inquiry.

Meanwhile, the board has dismissed attempts by Defence Secretary Frederick Punangi to get them to "disregard" evidence given by defence force personnel on matters relating to finances.

The Defence Minister, Martin Aini, says he's satisfied the Board of inquiry is working within its terms of references

"The whole report will be presented to me at the conclusion and then I'll be viewing any recommendations and from then on, I'll take appropriate actions - whatever the recommendations guide me through."