5 Feb 2007

PNG Moti inquiry board calls for Solomons co-operation

7:35 pm on 5 February 2007

The Papua New Defence Force Board of Inquiry into the Julian Moti saga has called on the government of Solomon Islands to co-operate with the inquiry.

The probe was convened at the behest of the PNG cabinet directive through the Defence Minister to get to the bottom of the issues surrounding the escape of Australian fugitive Julian Moti from PNG last October.

The counsel assisting the inquiry, John Kawi, says that the stance by the Solomon Islands government in stopping the inquiry from travelling to there is direct disrespect of the government of PNG.

"All I'm saying is that the whole issue is about maintaining and upholding the rule of law. And the inquiry is basically about that. And so in that regard they should assist us, allow us to go into the Solomons and interview people who may have some information that we're after."

Mr Kawi says that although the inquiry is near completion, with a report of its findings imminent, they would still like to interview a number of people in Solomons Islands.

He says no one in the Solomons will be convicted or prosecuted.