31 Jul 2007

Australia's foreign minister wants PNG government to release inquiry into Julian Moti

8:49 am on 31 July 2007

Australia's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, says he wants the PNG government to release a document that recommends charges be brought against its Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.

A PNG Defence Force Inquiry has recommended charges be laid against Sir Michael for allegedly ordering a clandestine military flight to help Australian lawyer and alleged paedophile Julian Moti escape to Solomon Islands.

Mr Moti was arrested at Port Moresby in September last year over the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl in Vanuatu in 1997.

The Australian-trained lawyer then escaped to the Solomon's on a secret PNG military flight on October 10.

The inquiry report recommends laying charges against Sir Michael for allegedly ordering the flight at the request of Solomon's Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Mr Sogavare has repeatedly blocked Australia's efforts to extradite Mr Moti, who is an Australian citizen.

News Limited quotes Mr Downer saying the report, if accurate, is of great concern to Australia.

Mr Downer says the PNG government should come forward and make this document publicly available rather than it trickling out through leaks.