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Solomon Islands PM: Attorney-general's appointment stands despite child sex allegations

Solomon Islands PM: Attorney-general's appointment stands despite child sex allegations

The Solomon Islands leader stood by his embattled attorney-general on Wednesday, denying reports he had been sacked and alleging Australia's pursuit of him on child sex charges was aimed at stopping him from taking office.
Julian Moti has been taking diplomatic refuge in the Solomons' diplomatic mission in neighboring Papua New Guinea since jumping bail five days ago after being arrested at Australia's request as he tried to return to the Solomons to take up the position of the country's senior legal officer.
Australia has demanded he be handed to Papua New Guinea authorities to face extradition proceedings related to an alleged child sexual assault in 1997. The Solomons government says the charges are part of a deep political rift between the two countries.
"Moti's appointment stands," Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said in a statement Wednesday. "I will not be swayed by the attempts of Australia to keep Moti away from coming to take up his appointment."