11 Oct 2006

Australia still seeks extradition of Moti from Solomons

2:27 pm on 11 October 2006

The Australian government says it will seek the extradition of Julian Moti from Solomon Islands once court proceedings over his allegedly illegal entry yesterday are complete.

Mr Moti, who was recently appointed and then suspended as Solomons attorney-general, is wanted by Australian authorities over alleged sex offences involving a 13-year-old girl in Vanuatu in 1997.

He fled from Papua New Guinea to Solomons islands early yesterday and has been charged with unlawfully entering or being unlawfully present in Solomon Islands.

Australia's Minister for Justice and Customs, Chris Ellison, says Australia remains committed to having Mr Moti returned to Australia to face the child sex allegations.

"We would expect the law to take its course, but certainly where he's facing charges in Solomon Islands, the normal process would be for those to be dealt with first, and then the request for extradition from Australia would be dealt with."

Meanwhile, two men who travelled with Mr Moti from PNG, Solomons official Robson Djoikovic, and lawyer Chris Hapa, have been charged with aiding and abetting in the commission of an offence and conspiracy to conduct a misdemeanour.