13 Apr 2010

Vanuatu Government to hold inquiry into VMF following Coroner's report

9:46 am on 13 April 2010

The Vanuatu Government is this week expected to announce a Commission of Inquiry into the police paramilitary unit, the Vanuatu Mobile Force.

This follows a scathing assessment of the VMF by a New Zealand judge, who'd conducted a Coroner's investigation into the death of a prison inmate.

Justice Nevin Dawson, who called for major changes in a force he said put itself above the law, faced intimidation during and following the inquest and he and his family left Vanuatu suddenly at Easter.

Government MP, Ralph Regenvanu, who had earlier called for strong action from the Government, says while he hasn't seen the terms of reference he expects the inquiry to both respond to the Coroner's report and take a wider view of police behaviour.

"The Minister of Internal Affairs has informed me that there will be a Commission of Inquiry established this week to look into various matters relating to the Coroner's Report and wider issues relating to the police and the VMF and their conduct."