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Affidavits sought from high ranking officials

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, May 6, 2009) – Former Solomon Islands attorney-general Julian Moti has been given until June 1 to submit affidavits from high-ranking officials in his bid to seek a stay of proceedings in a child sex case against him.

Moti, a Fiji-born Australian citizen, was arrested in December 2007 at Brisbane International Airport after being deported from Honiara following his sacking as attorney-general.

He has been charged under commonwealth law with seven counts of engaging in sexual intercourse with a person under 16, relating to the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl in Noumea and Vanuatu in 1997.

The court has previously heard that one issue to be argued in Moti's plan to seek a stay of proceedings involves allegations that warrants for Moti's arrest were procured and issued incorrectly.

While details of the application are still being finalised, the Supreme Court of Brisbane on Wednesday heard that five high-ranking officials may give affidavits for the application.

They include a former Solomon Islands police commissioner from New Zealand, two Australian high commissioners to the Solomon Islands, a senior officer of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and an Australian Federal Police officer now in Pakistan.

The application is expected to be heard over five days in July.

If the stay application is unsuccessful the trial before Justice Debbie Mullins will run for four weeks in November.

Another hearing will take place on June 11.

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