21 Dec 2006

Solomons cabinet seeks more information over Moti extradition request

4:24 pm on 21 December 2006

There is to be no immediate decision on whether Solomon Islands will agree to, or turn down, a formal request from Australia to extradite the suspended attorney general, Julian Moti, on child sex charges.

The Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, says cabinet has discussed the issue and there are plans for the acting attorney general to travel to Australia for discussions on the request.

He says Nuatali Tongarutu, hopes to travel to Australia soon to meet her counterpart, the Minister of Justice and the Director of Public Prosecutions, in an attempt to see a way forward.

Mr Sogavare says the government needs to know a lot more information about the request.

"This whole case is nonsense. The alleged crime was committed in Vanuatu, settled in Vanuatu's courts. Julian Moti travelled in and out of Australia for ten years and suddenly when we appointed him to the post of attorney general in Solomon Islands, it becomes an issue. I mean, there's a lot of things we need to know about this before we make any decision."

Manasseh Sogavare.