19 Mar 2010

Vanuatu govt moving delicately over Coroner's report for fear of a coup says MP

10:47 am on 19 March 2010

Vanuatu MP, Ralph Regenvanu, says the Government is taking a cautious approach in the light of a Coroner's report which slammed the police paramilitary unit, the Vanuatu Mobile Force.

Coroner Justice Nevin Dawson, in an inquiry into the death of a man in police custody, said the VMF considered itself above the law and fostered a culture of violence.

He called for major changes.

The report has been out two weeks and no Cabinet Ministers have yet commented on it but Mr Regenvanu says there is a good reason for that.

He says some of the senior officers have no respect for the law and could resort to violence if measures were taken against them.

"And I think this the reason why senior members of the Government are not willing to comment in the media, because they are still looking for ways to try and deal with this in a way that is not going to result in a, worst case scenario, a coup or something like that."