Statement by Hon Patteson Oti, Minister of Foreign Affairs & External Trade over Media Reports of the escape of Julian Moti from Port Moresby to Munda Airport, 10 October 2006

 

 

Hon OTI:Thank you Mr Speaker, for granting me leave under Standing Order 34 to make a ministerial statement regarding what has been reported in the media today.

 

Mr Speaker, the Government would like to clarify that we have been informed that the Attorney General who was held in Port Moresby over the last week or so has now found his way through Solomon Islands and has landed in Munda this morning.

 

Mr Speaker, there has been a full briefing with the Commissioner of Police and other core authorities including Immigration Officials, and the matter is now in the hands of the Police.

 

Mr Speaker, also I have called the Papua New Guinea High Commissioner to my office after Parliament this afternoon to find out and express to him the concerns of the Solomon Islands Government.Unfortunately, as usually required, there was no diplomatic clearance of the reported military light aircraft which brought in the Attorney General.

 

As of this afternoon, it is now within the hands of the Police to take care of Mr Moti, if I can mention the name, and he will now be subjected to the Immigration laws of this country including the breach of the Passport Act.

 

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Speaker:That is a Ministerís statement and is not open to debate.But short questions can be asked.

 

Mr Fono:Mr Speaker, according to section 24(2) can I ask a question to the Minister.

 

Mr Speaker:Yes, you may ask short questions.

 

Mr Fono:Thank you for you indulgence, Mr Speaker.Can the Minister inform the House as to who will meet the cost of the plane that brought this person from Port Moresby to Munda?

 

Hon Oti:Mr Speaker that in essence is why I have called the High Commissioner so that he is questioned how the plane came and who is going to pay the cost.So that would be made known to us.But at the moment what are we concern about is breaching of the laws of this country and he will now be subject to the full brunt of our legal laws.†††

Its financial consideration is a matter that is now before the Papua New Guinea Government through its High Commission here for us to be informed..

 

Mr Fono:Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether his appointment is still valid or not so that he comes to Solomon Islands to take up the post?

 

Hon Sanga:Mr Speaker, I think that question is a little bit beside the point since it has to do with the person concerned.I would like to confirm that the appointment per se is still intact.