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PM Lilo to look into Moti’s claims

By Douglas Marau HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 29, 2011) – In the Solomons, former Attorney General Julian Moti will be making sure the National Government is not relaxed this New Year, as he prepares to challenge his contractual dues and entitlements totaling more than SB$1 million [US$127,000]

The Solomon Star understands under his contract of service dated 5 September 2007, the amount unpaid is more than SB$1 million [US$127,000] inclusive of all entitlements, NPF, reimbursements and etc.

This was also recently confirmed by Moti’s solicitor Wilson Rano of Rano and Associates in Honiara.

Mr Rano said the delay could probably be administrative although, it has been approved by former Prime Minister Danny Philip and the current Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo while he was Finance Minister.

"Why payment is being continually delayed I don't know, it must be politics," Mr Rano assumed.

The Solomon Star could not reach Mr Moti yesterday for comments but he confirmed late in the evening via email he would be commenting in the coming weeks.

When contacted to comment on the matter yesterday, Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo told the Solomon Star that the Government is not turning a blind eye on the matter.

Mr Lilo admitted that although successive Governments failed to look into the matter, he is making it a priority as he has already advised the Attorney General to verify the legal obligations attached to Moti’s outstanding entitlements.

"I needed to be guided by the Attorney General Chambers," he said.

"Therefore, we are not refusing to look into the matter and we are not hard about it as we are just following the right procedure," the Prime Minister clarified.

He said Moti’s case was a clear cut one that only needs legal clarification.

Earlier this month, Moti won his High Court appeal for a permanent stay on charges of child sex abuse in Australia’s highest court.

The court ruled there was an abuse of process because Australian officials facilitated his deportation from the Solomon Islands to Australia in 2007, knowing well the process was against Solomon Islands laws.

Mr Moti, who is an Australian citizen, was alleged to have committed the offences in Vanuatu and New Caledonia in 1997.

The High Court stated in their ruling the role Australian officials played in facilitating his removal to Australia were not lawful.

Moti earlier this month said he would be challenging his illegal deportation from the Solomon Islands as well as his outstanding entitlements.

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