FORMER SOLOMONS FUGITIVE CRITICIZES KIWI COP

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Julian Moti says Marshall unfit for new post

By Susan Merrell HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Nov. 6, 2010) – Julian Moti, QC, former attorney general of the Solomon Islands, doubts that shortlisted candidate; the current Solomon Islands’ Police Commissioner Peter Marshall is a ‘fit and proper person’ to become New Zealand’s next Commissioner of Police.

[PIR editor’s note: Julian Moti, born an Indo-Fijian but educated in and a citizen of Australia, was tried in 1999 for the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl in Vanuatu in 1997. The case was dismissed, allegedly by a bribe, but Moti became a fugitive from Australian authorities and turned up in Papua New Guinea in 2006. He was subsequently arrested but later escaped to the Solomon Islands, allegedly with the help of PNG Prime Minister Somare. Solomons Prime Minister Sogavare then appointed Moti as the country’s attorney general but he later was deported to Australia, where he was tried and released by the court, with the magistrate calling into question the actions of Australian investigators.]

Marshall, a New Zealander, has been on secondment to the Solomon Islands Police force (SIPF) since 2007 under a bilateral agreement between the two countries.

"Kiwi taxpayers won’t be very proud of their aspiring top cop when they learn of his disservice to the rule of law elsewhere at their expense," Mr. Moti said.

Including when, according to Moti, Marshall colluded with the Australian authorities to facilitate his deportation or "disguised extradition" to Australia in direct contravention of a magistrate’s order that prohibited his removal by the SIPF.

"In my presence he [Marshall] famously told all my lawyers he had ‘no time for legal technicalities.’ I shudder to think how Kiwis must feel about such a cavalier attitude to the law and lawyers possessed by their [potential] chief law enforcer," he added.

At the time, the then Solomon Islands’ attorney general was wanted in Australia on charges relating to sex with a minor. They were charges that had been dealt with by a Vanuatu court eight years previously. Mr. Moti had been exonerated.

Mr. Moti’s, deportation on 27 December 2007, effectively removed him from political influence in the Solomon Islands’ where he, and the government he served, was often at loggerheads with Australia. This led to assertions that the new charges were ‘politically motivated.’

Mr. Moti claims his removal from the Solomon Islands was illegal and amounted to kidnapping and considers Mr. Marshall’s complicity "shameful".

Mr. Marshall, then the Deputy Commissioner of the SIPF, on questionable advice from those Mr. Moti labeled "legal imposters," ignored a magistrates restraining order and went ahead with aiding the deportation of Mr. Moti against the instructions of his superior, according to testimony proffered to a Brisbane Supreme Court that was, at the time, hearing Mr. Moti’s successful motion for a permanent stay of prosecution. This decision was later overturned on appeal.

Commissioner Khan in his affidavit wrote: "Obviously, I’d been deliberately kept out of the operation by Mr. Marshall, as he knew of my position."

Mr. Marshall, however, testified that he distinctly remembered keeping Khan informed.

In court, Marshall admitted that he came to realize (by July 2009 when he swore his affidavit) "that there was real question marks regarding the validity of the deportation process."

Moti believes that had Mr. Marshall been more legally rigorous at this time, this mea culpa would be a less poignant reminder of "the flagrant breaches of my basic human rights and the injustice and indignity that Marshall caused me that day [when I was deported]."

Mr. Marshall is currently in New Zealand for a week.

Commissioner Marshall, when contacted by telephone in New Zealand said he had "no comment whatsoever."

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