6 Oct 2004

Transparency International raises queries about inquiry into Vanuatu Public Prosecutor's office

12:11 pm on 6 October 2004

The Vanuatu chapter of the watchdog group Transparency International says a Commission of Inquiry into the Public Prosecutor's office could be a sham.

The enquiry is to investigate the office's unsuccessful attempt last month to bring charges of contempt against the Prime Minister, Serge Vohor.

Spokesperson for Transparency, Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson, says the Inquiry head, former senior policeman Api Jack Marikembo, was convicted of mutiny two years ago and later pardoned by the President.

Ms Ferrieux Patterson says that and 19 other controversial Presidential pardons are being reviewed by the Prosecutor's office.

And she says the other panel members, who include the Prime Minister's press officer, are also compromised.

"we have a law university here, we have a lot of legal people, so if the Prime Minister feels there should be a Commission of Inquiry, it is entirely his right, entirely his prorogative, if he has the money, but at least he should appoint people who have a good knowledge of the law and have no side to defend in that matter"