22 Jun 2007

Vanuatu politician alleged to have intimidated journalist

8:19 am on 22 June 2007

The publisher of Vanuatu's Daily Post newspaper says recent alleged intimidation of one of the publication's journalists isn't the first such incident involving a senior politician.

The journalist claims that the politician, who was at the time in the opposition, visited his house to take issue about a story he had written about the defection of an MP in his party to another political grouping in the government coalition.

The politician, who is now a government minister, reportedly attacked the journalist physically and abused him verbally.

The Daily Post publisher Marc Neil-Jones says the politician has intimidated other media people before, including himself.

"There wasn't any major assault - no punches were thrown - but there was definite intimidation and he was grabbed, hand around his neck and around his arm. And it's not the first time and our concern are justified. I felt in this case as it didn;'t go as far as punches being thrown.. had punches been thrown I would have personally laid charges."

Meanwhile, the victim is considering pursuing court action against the politician.