22 Dec 2007

Julian Moti says he is still working as Solomon Islands attorney general

11:56 am on 22 December 2007

Julian Moti says he's still working as the Solomon Islands Attorney-General despite the new prime minister's pledge to send him to Australia to face charges.

The new prime minister Dr Derek Sikua, elected this week, has suggested the controversial Australian lawyer could be put on a plane within days.

Officials in the new government say Mr Moti could simply be declared persona non grata and deported, rather than going through a formal extradition process.

Mr Moti - wanted in Australia over claims he raped a 13-year-old girl in Vanuatu in 1997 - lost his protector last week when former prime minister Manasseh Sogavare was ousted in a vote.

Mr Sogavare had ignored Australia's requests to return his friend.

Mr Moti has told the Solomon Star newspaper he is was still working as the Solomons top law officer.