21 Sep 2012

Phocea case in Vanuatu could be struck out over delays

3:03 pm on 21 September 2012

Senior Vanuatu Magistrate, Rita Naviti, has threatened to strike out the case involving the mega yacht, Phocea, unless the prosecutors can soon produce more substantial evidence.

The owner, skipper, and crew along with two Vanuatu Cabinet Ministers have been scheduled to appear this week on a variety of charges, most centring on breaches of immigration laws and customs regulations.

The Daily Post newspaper says the case has been adjourned again because the prosecution want more time to lodge separate cases against all the defendants including the owner, Pascal Anh Quan Saken, who is not in the country.

But the three defence lawyers have asked the court to strike out the case over the continuing delay.

Senior Magistrate Naviti says she may do this if the delays continue but she says these are serious cases that should be heard in court.