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The ‘Julian Moti’ Saga Through The Eyes Of A Journalist

  The Julian Moti story comes alive again in Suva next Thursday. An event will be held to launch Australian investigative journalist and commentator Susan Merrell’s book “Redeeming Moti’. The
04 May 2017 12:47
The ‘Julian Moti’ Saga Through The Eyes Of A Journalist
Former Solomon Islands Attorney-General Julian Moti, QC. Photo: Fiji Pundit

 

The Julian Moti story comes alive again in Suva next Thursday. An event will be held to launch Australian investigative journalist and commentator Susan Merrell’s book “Redeeming Moti’.

The Moti story it tells is a gripping tale of Australian pursuit of the Fijian-born international constitutional law expert. It led to diplomatic ruptures involving four countries.

The Australians feared Mr Moti’s appointment as Attorney-General of the Solomon Islands.

Mr Moti had been recruited by then Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to challenge the Australian domination of his country through the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

It led to an Australian witchhunt against Mr Moti using a long dismissed and discredited charge from Vanuatu that Mr Moti had sex with an underage girl. The Australian authorities turned to their child sex tourism laws to pursue him as he was an Australian citizen.

They tried unsuccessfully to seize Mr Moti as he transited Papua New Guinea enroute to the Solomon Islands from India to start work. Then Australian-led RAMSI Police tried to seize him again after he was flown to Solomon Islands in a Papua New Guinea military aircraft.

Mr Moti took up his role and began helping the Sogavare government challenge some of the powers used by the Australian-led RAMSI and some of their actions.

Amidst continuing international and local political tension the Sogavare Government was eventually destablised and then defeated in a motion of no confidence. More Australian friendly politicians took control. Mr Moti was seized in Honiara despite a court injunction and forced on to a plane to Australia. There he was arrested and put on trial.

During a series of court hearings some of the machinations by Australian diplomats and Federal Police were exposed. Australia’s highest court ruled the actions and charges illegal. Mr Moti was free at last, but at huge financial and personal cost.

Ms Merrell – who has a PhD in political science – was one of the few Australian journalists to consistently tell Mr Moti’s side of the story. She followed the courtroom drama

Her “Redeeming Moti” will be launched in Fiji next Thursday at the Albert Park Pavilion Function Room.

People will be able to buy signed copies of the book for $50 at the event.

“Redeeming Moti” highlights how she saw events unfold and from first-hand information from Mr Moti himself.

Grab a copy of the latest page turner next Thursday. Read the real story behind the witch-hunt which dogged a top Fijian-born lawyer for years.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

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