5 Jan 2007

The PNG defence force rules two key witness into Julian Moti inquiry must give evidence

4:39 pm on 5 January 2007

A Papua New Guinea Defence Force Board has today ruled that two key witnesses of the inquiry into the Julian Moti escape to Solomon Islands, must give evidence.

The inquiry into who helped Mr Moti leave PNG in a defence force plane began several weeks ago.

The witnesses Chief Secretary Joshua Kalinoe, and National Security Advisory Committee member Joseph Assaigo's, have questioned the jurisdiction of the inquiry.

They argued that the defence force does not have the power to question them, because they are not employed by the defence force.

But our correspondent, Alex Rhheeney, says the board today ruled that the inquiry has the legal right to question them.


The inquiry handed down its ruling this morning, knocking back the application and the inquiry chairman said that the inquiry has jurisdiction, because the minister of defence uses discretion under the defence force act to make the appopintments.

Alex Rheeney says they are currently giving evidence, but the public, including the media, is not allowed to the hearing.