7 Sep 2007

PNG court hearing into probe of Moti escape to Solomon Islands

10:26 am on 7 September 2007

The absence of a report from a probe into the escape of Julian Moti to Solomon Islands last year is having a major impact on a court hearing involving Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister

PNG's National Court, considering an application by Sir Michael Somare's lawyers for a judicial review of the Defence Force Board of Inquiry's probe, heard from the plaintiffs' lawyers that the report has been lost in the Prime Minister's residence.

The lawyer assisting the Inquiry, John Kawi, says that they had given Sir Michael the report in March.

Mr Kawi says Sir Michael's lawyer raised the judge's ire by failing to produce the report.

"He then advised the judge the Prime Minister was moving residence from one private house to a state house, and in that process packed up the report and placed it in a box... and it has not been unpacked as yet. And that prompted the judge to tell him that he continues to come up with juvenile excuses."

Mr Kawi says the Inquiry Board's counsel has made a submission to dismiss the whole proceedings of the application.

The case has been adjourned until next Tuesday.