28 Aug 2002

27 Vanuatu police due in court on mutiny charges

11:40 am on 28 August 2002

27 Vanuatu police officers and members of the para military Vanuatu Mobile Force are due back in court this morning to face charges of mutiny and in citing mutiny.

Among those charged are the acting police commissioner, Holi Simon, and the head of the VMF, Api Jack Marikembo.

The charges come after 15 prominent public officials, including the attorney general, were arrested in a dawn raid and charged with seditious conspiracy in the appointment of a new police commissioner earlier this month.

Those arrests came after a complaint by Mr Simon, but the charges have since been struck out while the appointment of the police commissioner was also quashed.

The 27 charged yesterday appeared in court but the hearing could not proceed because the public prosecutor, Heather Leo Lini, did not turn up.