4 Oct 2006

Australian justice minister says proper procedures observed in Moti arrest

9:58 am on 4 October 2006

The Australian justice minister, Senator Chris Ellison, is rejecting claims that Australia has in any way contravened proper procedures in its request for the arrest and extradition of Julian Moti from Papua New Guinea.

Senator Ellison says that the Australian federal police have been investigating Mr Moti for some time over allegations of child sex offences in Vanuatu.

Mr Ellison says any claims that the investigation is politically motivated are baseless, as the investigation commenced well before the recent Solomon Islands election.

He says the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions feels that Mr Moti could be charged with offences against Australian law after which the AFP sought to locate him so charges could be laid.

Senator Ellison says he understands the previous proceedings against Mr Moti in Vanuatu were dismissed before he faced trial and it is the view of the Director of Public Prosecutions that this does not prevent him being tried in Australia.

He says later this week Australia will make a formal request to PNG for Mr Moti's extradition to Australia.

The Senator says it is the Australian Government's express intention that he face justice in Australia.