admin's picture

By Moffat Mamu

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 12) – The Australian government will still be pursuing the request for the full extradition of Australian citizen Julian Moti with a request ready to be lodged to the Solomon Islands government.

Acting Australian High Commissioner Heidi Bootle revealed this to Solomon Star on Friday.

Ms Bootle made this statement after Minister of Foreign Affairs Patteson Oti revealed in the Australian media that Australia is yet to lodge a formal request for the extradition of Mr Moti.

Mr Oti, who was in Australia for the Forum’s Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting last week, said it was disappointed the Australian Government sought to debate the Moti matter in the media rather than through diplomatic channels.

"Rather unfortunately, while there has been a lot of discussion, it has been taken on the airwaves without the due process of how governments deal with each other," Mr Oti said.

"Under normal official processes and procedures, Solomon Islands has yet to receive a formal request from Canberra."

However, Ms Bootle said it is the Australian government’s intention to get Moti back to Australia to face the alleged child sex charges.

Therefore, she said her government will still pursue means to get Moti back into Australia without interfering with the legal and justice system of the country.

"We will continue to seek Mr Moti’s return in a manner which is consistent with legal processes and which does not interfere with judicial processes currently underway in Solomon Islands," the Acting Australian High Commissioner said.

She explained that as one of the Australian citizens, Mr Moti must return and face these allegations under their law

"This is a matter of Australia wanting one of its own citizens to return to Australia to face serious allegations under Australian law.

"The Australian government strongly supports the work of Australian law enforcement agencies and their counterparts overseas to eradicate the vile crime of sexual exploitation of children.

"We take no position on the guilt or innocence of Australians about whom allegations of child sex offences must be fully tested under Australian law," she said.

A brief sent to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions confirmed there was a case that should be prosecuted, that charges should be laid and that this would form the proper basis of a request for Moti’s extradition, she said.

The Acting High Commissioner noted that the Australian Government has made a request to the Solomon Islands Government for the urgent provisional arrest of Moti and "we are currently finalising a full extradition request".

"Once finalised, this full extradition request will be lodged formally with the Solomon Islands Government, as soon as possible," she said.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment