21 Sep 2015

Former Vanuatu PM denies interference claim

2:39 pm on 21 September 2015

Vanuatu MP Joe Natuman denies that he interferred in the judicial process around a police mutiny case.

Joe Natuman outside court.

Joe Natuman outside court. Photo: RNZI / Hilaire Bule

Police have launched an investigation into the former prime minister who is alleged to have obstructed police investigations into allegations of mutiny within the force in 2012.

The deputy prime minister, Moana Carcasses, filed a criminal complaint against Mr Natuman in December last year when Mr Carcasses was leader of the opposition.

This came after Mr Natuman, who was prime minister at the time, asked the police to stop the probe into the alleged mutiny against the former commissioner, Arthur Caulton.

Mr Natuman says with the case having already been thrown out by the Magistrate's Court, it's a non-issue.

"Which at the time, I thought it was a waste of government resources, and that the force should be concentrating itself on a more productive area. And also, there was a lot of division inside the force and this would prolong the divisions within factions of the force. Basically what I was going was acting in good faith to re-unify the force."

Mr Carcasses has also filed another complaint against Mr Natuman to the Ombudsman's office.

Sato Kilman last week said no opposition member of parliament is above the law and anyone caught will be prosecuted.

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