27 Jul 2002

Sope supporters in Vanuatu asked not to turn to violence

3:39 am on 27 July 2002

Vanuatu's Opposition leader. Willie Jimmy, is advising supporters of jailed former Prime Minister Barak Sope not to break the law.

Mr Sope was last week jailed for three years on fraud charges.

Mr Jimmy says the judicial process which led to the conviction was an example of neo-colonialism, because of the involvement of police and court officials from New Zealand, Australia and Britain.

He says the Opposition has called for the President Father Bani to pardon Mr Sope.

Supporters from the jailed former leader's home island of Efira have made the same request.

They have threatened to take action, if he has not been freed by independence day next week, but Mr Jimmy is urging caution.

"there is no point of anybody trying to take the law into their own hands....if some one is trying to do that they are dealing with the problem in the wrong way altogether"

Willie Jimmy