1 Nov 2007

Pressure on PNG Defence Minister to pursue Moti issue

11:04 am on 1 November 2007

Papua New Guinea's opposition says the Defence Minister must get to the bottom of the Julian Moti issue despite rejecting outright the Defence Force probe into the affair.

The Minister, Bob Dadae, says the inquiry into Julian Moti's clandestine flight from the country aboard a PNG military plane last year was wrongly convened, overstepped its jurisdiction and was biased.

The inquiry had implicated the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, senior bureaucrats and a number of soldiers.

Opposition MP Bart Philemon is outraged over the rejection, but describes the Moti issue as a bad smell that won't go away.

"It's a serious issue - sovereign laws have been broken, a series of other laws have been broken. All we want is for those who have broken the laws of the country to be brought to justice. The least we can expect is for the Defence Minister to find the legal means by which he can still pursue the Julian Moti issue to its final conclusions."