19 Aug 2002

Trial of 15 prominent people in Vanuatu on conspiracy charges delayed by a day

4:02 pm on 19 August 2002

In Vanuatu, the hearing against fifteen senior public figures accused of criminal conspirarcy in the hiring of the Police Commissoner has been postponed until tomorrow.

The postponement was because of the unavailability today of the public prosecutor, Heather Lini.

The case follows the controversial appointment of Mael Apisai as Commissioner, even though he had not been on a shortlist prepared by the Police Services Commission.

His appointment has since been quashed and Holly Simon, who was deputy commissioner, has been made acting commissioner.

Mr Simon's complaint over the manner of Mr Apisai's appointment sparked the 15 arrests.

Our correspondent in Port Vila, Len Garae says the police have asked for a postponement in the hearing.

"they postponed it until tomorrow because they insist that the same public prosecutor who heard the case initially be present and at the moment the public prosecutor is involved in another case and then it was felt that they needed more evidence so it was postponed"

Len Garae reporting from Port Vila.