1 Jul 2011

Victim disappointed with Vanuatu minister's sentence

1:53 pm on 1 July 2011

The publisher of Vanuatu's Daily Post newspaper is disappointed by the sentence given to a government minister for his role in the assault of him in March.

The Minister of Public Utilities and Infrastructure, Harry Iauko, was fined US$150 after pleading guilty for aiding and abetting damage to property and for aiding and abetting the assault at the Daily Post office in Port Vila.

The Magistrates Court sentenced Mr Iauko's eight supporters involved in the assault of Marc Neil-Jones with fines ranging up to nearly 1,000 US dollars

Mr Neil-Jones says a dangerous precedent has been set.

"A minister can send his goons into a media office, assault anyone they want and overturn the office and a precedent has been set that he will only receive a 1500 Vatu fine."

Marc Neil-Jones.

Charges of unlawful assembly, unlawful entry and criminal trespass against Harry Iauko were withdrawn by the State Prosecutor after he pleaded not guilty.