8 Nov 2004

Six likely to face serious charges after Kiribati riot

8:42 pm on 8 November 2004

Six people remain in custody in Kiribati after a riot last week on Butaritari which claimed one life and resulted in six houses being burned down.

Kiribati's police commissioner, Ioeru Tokantetaake, says they have been taken to Tarawa where they are yet to be charged but could face murder, arson and rioting charges.

He says another 24, released on bail on Butaritari, will face minor charges such as unlawful assembly.

The commissioner says it is understood the rioting came after one village didn't comply with island custom.

"There are island rules that need to be complied by the islanders. It looks like one village did not comply with these island rules so that is the cause of the problem."

Commissioner Tokantetaake says a squad of police sent to the island from the capital to restore order have now returned to Tarawa.