15 Nov 2010

Declassified papers point to Canberra effort to discredit former Solomons AG Moti

2:31 pm on 15 November 2010

Reports from Australia say Canberra sought to scuttle the appointment of Julian Moti as Solomon Islands Attorney-General by pressing federal police to revive child sex allegations against him.

According to the newspaper, The Age, declassified official documents show a deliberate effort to discredit Mr Moti was made after Australian officials became aware of plans in 2004 to appoint him as the Solomons' top legal officer.

The fresh revelations in the saga surrounding Mr Moti - which soured Australia's ties with its Pacific neighbours - come in advance of a High Court application arguing that charges that he had sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1997 are politically motivated.

Mr Moti, who is an Australian citizen, became the Solomons attorney-general in July 2007 but after a change of government, he was deported to Australia in late 2007.