5 Sep 2002

27 Vanuatu police to appear in court tomorrow for a remand hearing

10:35 am on 5 September 2002

Vanuatu's public prosecutor, Heather Leo Lini, says fears that more government officials and civilians were to be arrested for conspiracy, sparked the attempt to arrest 27 police on mutiny charges.

A month ago the same group of police had arrested 15 public officials, including the Attorney General, the Ombudsman, and the new Police Commissioner.

But those charges were struck out with the judge ruling the police process "irregular".

Heather Leo Lini says their investigations show there is a growing lack of respect among some police for the judicial process, and this is one of the key concerns for her office.

Ms Lini says the 27 officers will appear in court tomorrow(fri) for a remand hearing, and she says while they are still investigating, she believes there is already a strong case for mutiny and inciting mutiny charges.