2 Oct 2012

Vanuatu Police Service Commission reiterates that Joshua Bong heading police

2:37 pm on 2 October 2012

Amid the ongoing confusion over who is Vanuatu's police commissioner, the Police Service Commission has reminded politicians that it is an independent and constitutional body set up by Parliament.

The Commission says it has re-appointed Joshua Bong to head the police but the Internal Affairs Minister, George Wells, disputes this, saying Arthur Caulton is the commissioner.

The Police Service Commission vice chairman, Willie Karie, says his body is mandated to make decisions about the police force and dissatisfied people can seek redress in the courts.

He says the Commission made its decision on Sunday and Joshua Bong will remain the commissioner until a review of his performance.

Mr Karie also questioned the validity of claims by a former chairman of the Commission, Tony Arthur, that he was re-appointed to head the Commission at the weekend by Mr Wells and Vanuatu's President, Iolou Johnson Abbil.

Mr Arthur, the deputy commissioner of police Arthur Caulton, and another senior police commander, Pierre Carlot are currently on bail after being charged with inciting mutiny against Mr Bong.