23 Jul 2002

Vanuatu opposition leader denied access to jailed former PM Sope

5:44 pm on 23 July 2002

Reports from Vanuatu say the opposition leader, Willie Jimmy, has been denied permission to visit the jailed former prime minister, Barak Sope.

Mr Jimmy reportedly wanted to make the visit on Sunday but a warden at the Port Vila prison prevented him from seeing Sope who was jailed last week for forgery.

Radio Vanuatu says there are questions about the treatment of Barak Sope who was the deputy opposition leader, before he was convicted to three years in jail.

Sope became the prime minister during the last term of parliament despite several recommendations by the ombudsman's office that he should never be allowed to hold public office because of several cases of him abusing his position.