AUSTRALIA REPEATS DEMAND FOR SOLOMONS OFFICIAL

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 3) – Australia’s Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, has repeated calls for Solomon Islands to hand over its attorney-general so he can face child sex charges in Australia.

Julian Moti, an Australian lawyer, is believed to be hiding inside the Solomons High Commission in Papua New Guinea - having jumped bail after a local court hearing.

When arrested he had been named as the Solomon’s new attorney general, but a member of the Solomon’s Judicial and Legal Service Commission has told an Australian news agency that his appointment has been revoked.

The agency says a formal announcement is expected to be made today by the chairman of the commission Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer.

The case has escalated into a political row between Australia and the Solomons.

The Solomons government has warned Australia it could defend the case "politically".

Mr Downer says he doesn’t know what "defending it politically" means.

He says he believes Mr Moti is still hiding in the Solomon Islands High Commission in Port Moresby

Mr Downer says eventually Mr Moti will have to come out of there, and when he does, he should be extradited back to Australia

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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