Wrongs cited in Moti’s arrest, flight

National, Normal

THE Ombudsman Commission said in its final report into the Motigate Affair that there were many irregularities and technical/legal flaws surrounding the initial arrest, detention, bail and transportation of Julian Ronald Moti.
It said his initial arrest and detention was unlawful because the arrest was made without a provisional warrant of arrest.
The bail, it noted, was unlawful because Moti was not allowed to be bailed under the Extradition Act of 2005, unless on special circumstances.
The Ombudsman also noted that the provisional warrants of arrest issued were not applicable under the Extradition Act.
“Despite the fact that there was no NEC decision to transport Moti to the Solomon Islands, key Government officials directed and facilitated the transportation. Their actions were contrary to the order of the court that Moti be arrested and brought before it.”
It said, overall, there was lack of proper awareness of the laws and procedures under the Extradition Act of 2005 among relevant Government bodies which caused confusion in the implementation of the extradition process.
It said that as far as it was concerned, Moti’s entry into PNG did not breach the Migration Action (ch.16).
“The initial arrest and detention of Moti (by the police) was unlawful and in breach of the Extradition Act.
“The direction from the then deputy prime minister, Don Polye, to acting police commissioner Toami Kulunga to have Moti released from police custody was wrong.”
The Ombudsman Commission said in its executive summary that the actions of Joseph Assaigo (late), then director general of OSCA, to direct the PNGDF to fly Moti to Munda (Solomon Islands) was wrong.
Also, the PNGDF hierarchy and the air transport command were wrong in complying with “an unsanctioned operation” and in breach of the Civil Aviation Act of 2000.