7 Dec 2011

Australia High Court halts prosecution of former Solomons AG

6:34 pm on 7 December 2011

The High Court in Australia has halted the prosecution on child sex charges of former Solomon Islands Attorney-General Julian Moti.

Ordering a stay of charges against Mr Moti, the full bench of the High Court ruled he had been illegally deported from the Solomon Islands in December 2007.

The judgement says further prosecution of the charges would be an abuse of process because of the role of Australian officials in Mr Moti being deported to Australia.

Mr Moti, an Australian citizen, was charged in 2008 with seven counts of engaging in sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16 years while in Vanuatu during the 1990s.

The newspaper, The Australian, reports that today's ruling found there was an abuse of process because Australian officials facilitated Mr Moti's deportation from the Solomon Islands to Australia in 2007 knowing that it was, at that time, unlawful under Solomon Islands law.

The High Court also ruled that a financial deal the Australian Federal Police struck with the alleged victim and her family was not an abuse of process.