1 Feb 2013

Vanuatu's Kilman non-committal on Saken's diplomatic status

7:12 am on 1 February 2013

The office of Vanuatu's Prime Minister says the diplomatic status of Pascal Ahn Quan Saken is a matter for the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Mr Saken, who claims to be the owner of the super yacht Phocea which has been detained in Port Vila since July due to problems with its documentation, was given a Vanuatu diplomatic passport last year.

Calls for his diplomatic status to be revoked have mounted following Mr Saken's recent controversial meeting with Vanuatu's Foreign Minister in Papua New Guinea.

The Prime Minister's Political Adviser, Richard Kaltongga confirms that revocation was ordered last year.

"Well the Prime Minister gave instructions for his passport to be revoked. we are not aware... you have to ask Foreign Affairs that. In regards to his diplomatic status, that is a matter for the Foreign Affairs office to answer."

Meanwhile, Richard Kaltongga says the government has repeatedly given clearance for the Phocea to leave but that junior public servants have countermanded political instructions.