18 Jan 2007

Solomons opposition says government protecting Julian Moti

11:32 am on 18 January 2007

The Solomon Islands Opposition is accusing the Prime Minister of sabotaging investigations into his associate, Australian lawyer Julian Moti.

The Opposition leader, Fred Fono, says the Sogavare-led government sacked the former police commissioner Shane Castles because he was closing the net on senior government leaders involved with Mr Moti.

Mr Fono says he believes the government had prior knowledge of the secret Papua New Guinea Defence Force flight which spirited the fugitive to the Solomons after he skipped bail following his arrest in Port Moresby.

And he says the investigations into the incident must continue, despite Mr Castles being banned from Solomons.

"We want police to continue with the investigations to make sure that those responsible are brought to justice. Because our question was that why wasn't there a diplomatic protest note to Papua New Guinea when a PNG defence plane intruded in our airspace?"

Mr Fono says the Opposition is convinced there's a cover up in place by the government.