18 May 2017

Australia's apology to Julian Moti labelled weak

7:33 pm on 18 May 2017

Australia's apology to the former Solomon Islands attorney general Julian Moti QC has been described as weak by an author of a book about him.

In its apology Australia states that it regretted that Australian officials facilitated Mr Moti unlawful deportation from Solomon Islands to Australia to face criminal prosecution.

Julian Moti

Julian Moti Photo: PNG Echo

This was revealed by Julian Moti last week in Fiji when speaking at the launch of Susan Merrell's book about his ordeal, "Redeeming Moti".

The apology follows a 2011 ruling by the High Court in Australia which halted the prosecution of child sex charges brought against Moti saying they were an abuse of process.

Dr Merrell said Australia's heavy handed and costly pursuit of Mr Moti across Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, followed the announcement of his attorney general's appointment and constituted the use of criminal charges to effect a political agenda.

Mr Moti had said the apology meant a lot to him only because Australia rarely apologises for its official misdeeds.

But Dr Merrell said, in light of the High Court decision, Australia had done the absolute least that it could have.

"Now one could argue that what they are saying is that if the High Court hadn't found that they were wrong they would happily not have apologised," she said.

"The behaviour was stunningly wrong and the reason I wrote the book is because that has not been known."

There was some monetary compensation accompanying Australia's apology the details of which Mr Moti QC said he was legally obliged not to talk about although he alluded to it being a nominal amount.

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