Solomons Government Called To Explain Moti Settlement

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TSI says former AG has lodged no claims against government

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 4, 2014) – Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) is asking the government to explain to the public what's behind it's decision to settle out of court with the former attorney general, Julian Moti.

Julian Moti was the Solomon Islands Attorney General between 2006 and 2007, but was deported to Australia at the end of 2007 to face child sex charges.

However, the Australian High Court ordered a stay of charges in 2011 after it ruled he had been illegally deported, and the Solomon Islands government has recently indicated it will settle with Mr Moti over the issue.

Bob Pollard from Transparency Solomon Islands says it's believed Mr Moti hasn't lodged a claim against the government, so it's unclear why the government is rushing to settle.

"The onus has to be put on Moti to establish the basis of why the government should pay, and there may not be a basis whatsoever. And until that's clearly established, why is the government in a hurry to pay Moti, I think the government has plenty more priorities, pressing matters here on the Solomon Islands fund than paying the possibly large amount of money to Moti, for no basis."

Bob Pollard says this has been a long, on-going saga, but the government is mixing legal and political issues, and it should be dealt with simply as a legal issue.

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