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By Ralph Sao

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, July 10) - The High Court Challenge by Julian Moti over the legality of his suspension by the Public Service Commission is still before the courts.

[PIR editor’s note: Moti today was sworn in as Solomon Islands Attorney General at Government House.]

Reports from the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation stated that High Court Registrar Nelson Laurere says Mr Moti's case is pending a Court of Appeal decision on a case by former Attorney General Primo Afeau.

Mr Afeau was terminated last year for reasons including insubordination. He has however argued that his removal was improper. Mr Laurere says the Court of Appeal findings in the Afeau case are likely to be directly relevant to the questions raised in the Moti case.

Mr Laurere confirmed to the SIBC that the High Court had already granted leave to hear Mr Moti's case, but lawyers to the parties agreed to wait until a Court of Appeal decision on the Afeau case is made.

The Public Service Commission also confirmed to the SIBC that it has not lifted the suspension of Julian Moti because of the pending court case.

Mr Moti was appointed Attorney General in September last but was suspended in October in light of an Australian judicial arrest warrant, alleging he committed child sex offenses under the Australian Crimes Act 1914 and the Child Sex Tourism Amendment Act 1994.

[PIR editor’s note: According to PIR archives, Moti faced a charge of statutory rape involving a 13-year-old girl in Vanuatu. He denied the charge, which was thrown out of court. A civil case brought by the girl was settled under a deed of agreement. He said the court case in Vanuatu "didn't even stack up to a prima facie case on the evidence, despite the perseverance of my white prosecutors."]

Solomon Times

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