26 Nov 2008

Vili to retried over killing in New Caledonia's ethnic conflict

7:42 am on 26 November 2008

New Caledonia's court of appeal will retry a Wallisian man who last April was acquitted on a charge of murdering a Kanak man during an ethnic conflict in 2002.

The high-profile case of Laurent Vili will be heard next week.

Mr Vili, who plays rugby in France, was accused of shooting a 26-year old Kanak, Jean-Marie Goyeta, during a gunfight in St Louis between Kanaks and Wallisians.

Mr Goyeta was wounded and he died a month later in hospital.

Mr Vili had been arrested in France six years ago and spent a year in jail as part of the investigation.

The prosecution wanted Mr Vili to be given a five-year suspended jail sentence but he was acquitted which led to a Kanak protest with tyres being burnt.