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Ex-Solomons Attorney General denies rape, threats

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 11, 2008) - An Australian court has heard that the former Solomon Islands Attorney General, Julian Moti, threatened to have a 13-year old girl’s family deported from Vanuatu if she told her parents about his sexual activities with her.

Moti is facing seven charges of unlawful sexual intercourse with the then 13-year-old girl over a six-month period in 1997 in Noumea and at his home in Vanuatu, where he headed a law firm.

He denied all the charges.

The newspaper, The Australian, reports that this week’s committal hearing in Brisbane is the first time that the allegations were fully aired since Moti was briefly held in Port Moresby in 2006 en route to the Solomons.

The Fiji-born Australian citizen was sacked as Solomon Islands attorney-general and deported to Australia last December.

According to Australian police, the victim said she first had sex with Moti in May 1997 and that he held her down.

She told police Moti threatened to have her family deported and her sisters sent to an orphanage if she told her parents about the life she was going through with him.

In December 1997, the family made a complaint about the alleged abuse to Vanuatu’s Ombudsman and police.

Moti was originally arrested in 1998, but Vanuatu magistrate Bruce Kalotiti dismissed the charges in 1999 amid allegations he was bribed by Moti.

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