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Fiji Time: 11:44 AM on Friday 19 September

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Moti instructs lawyer to file for compensation

Ioane Burese
Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fiji-born former attorney-general of the Solomon Islands Julian Moti has given instructions to his Port Moresby lawyer Peter Pena to lodge a substantial claim for compensation against the state of Papua New Guinea within the next few weeks.

The Solomon Star newspaper's Susan Merrell writes that as this scenario plays out in Papua New Guinea, so history repeats itself in the United Kingdom.

She writes that anyone who was domiciled in the Pacific in September/October of 2006, may be getting a strong sense of deja vu from the situation of Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange.

Assange, holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, has sought and been granted asylum by the Republic of Ecuador against a British extradition order.

Ms Merrell reports that Assange is of the belief that the proposed extradition to Sweden to face sex charges would unfairly put him within reach of US who wants him to face charges for his part in the Wikileaks revelations.

Assange is surrounded by a hostile British state that has agreed to his extradition — outside the embassy asylum lapses and British police are on hand waiting to arrest him.

Julian Moti, in 2006, was in the same situation for much the same reasons when he sought asylum at the Solomon Islands Chancellery in Port Moresby.

He was seeking diplomatic refuge from a proposed extradition from PNG to Australia to face charges that were as blatantly political as those of Assange.

He too was in a reasonably safe but uncomfortable oasis surrounded by a potentially hostile state with law enforcement officers outside "baying for blood", according to Moti.

"When Julian Assange mentioned to the press about police climbing the stairs of the building trying to break into the embassy, it reminded me of six years ago when police tried to enter the Solomon Islands' Chancellery in Port Moresby through the ceiling to extract me," Mr Moti told Ms Merrell from Sydney.

Indeed, if you substitute Britain for Papua New Guinea, Ecuador for Solomon Islands, USA for Australia and Sweden for Vanuatu, you get an uncanny duplication of the Moti saga by the Assange case.

The impasse ended for PNG with Moti's clandestine removal on a PNGDF aircraft.


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