27 Jun 2008

Vanuatu police arrest suspect in Vila killing

6:29 pm on 27 June 2008

Vanuatu police have arrested the key suspect in a brutal killing in the capital Port Vila on Tuesday.

The victim, 66 year-old Lo Sui Fang Leong, died of a deep cut in her throat as well as from heavy bruises on her head after being attacked in a robbery on her general store.

The Deputy Police Commissioner Arthur Caulton says they were able to identify the suspect, Paul Wari, from the decoder of the surveillance camera inside the General Store.

Major Caulton says Wari murdered a man in 2001.

"He murdered an Australian by the name of Justin West, so he was sentenced to prison. Then in 2005 he was released on medical grounds and then he was again involved in the murder of this Chinese lady."

Arthur Caulton says police have also arrested the suspect in another shooting in Port Vila this week.

The suspect is one of 18 inmates who escaped the local prison recently and remain on the run.

A 72 year-old Italian woman has been flown to Australia for medical treatment.