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Former Solomons Attorney General labeled ‘anti-Australian’

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 15, 2010) – Reports from Australia say Canberra sought to scuttle the appointment of Julian Moti as Solomon Islands Attorney-General by pressing federal police to revive child sex allegations against him.

According to the newspaper The Age, declassified official documents show a deliberate effort to discredit Mr. Moti was made after Australian officials became aware of plans in 2004 to appoint him as the Solomon Islands top legal officer.

[PIR editor’s note: The Age reported that, after Moti was hired by the Sogavare government as Attorney General in 2004 – a move that triggered suspicions he was opposed to Australia’s presence in the Solomons via its RAMSI peacekeeping force – " a diplomatic cable marked ‘’secret sensitive’’ from Patrick Cole, Australia’s then high commissioner in the Solomons, warned Mr Moti had a reputation for questionable dealings, held ‘’anti-Australian’’ attitudes and ‘’would likely be a very difficult proposition for us in steering SI [Solomon Islands] and bilateral legal matters . Mr Cole had warned in an earlier email about of plans to appoint Mr Moti and said, "Naturally I am trying to block it,’’ before seeking further information about sex charges against Mr Moti in Vanuatu."]

The fresh revelations in the saga surrounding Mr. Moti which soured Australia’s ties with its Pacific neighbors come in advance of a High Court application arguing that charges that he had sex with a 13 year old girl in 1997 are politically motivated.

Mr. Moti, who is an Australian citizen, became the Solomon Islands Attorney-General in July 2007 but after a change of government, he was deported to Australia in late 2007.

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