THE HIGH COURT has halted Australia's prosecution on child sex charges of former Solomon Islands attorney-general Julian Moti.
Ordering a stay of charges against Mr Moti, the full bench of the High Court ruled he had been illegally deported from the Solomon Islands in December 2007.
“Further prosecution of the charges would be an abuse of process because of the role that Australian officials in Mr Moti being deported to Australia,” a judgment summary stated.
Mr Moti, an Australian citizen, was charged in 2008 with seven counts of engaging in sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16 years whilst in Vanuatu during the 1990s.
In today's majority ruling, the High Court found there was an abuse of process because Australian officials facilitated Mr Moti's deportation.
Mr Moti, 45, was charged under the Child Sex Tourist Act, which was introduced by the Howard government. The alleged offences date back to 1997, when the alleged victim was 13.
Mr Moti was initially arrested in 2006 in Port Moresby while in transit to the Solomon Islands capital of Honiara, where he was to be sworn in as that country's attorney-general.
He left the post in December 2007, when he was put on a plane to Australia and charged when he landed in Brisbane.
Source: The Australian, 7 December