8 Oct 2012

Sacked Vanuatu police boss says mutiny probe now dropped

2:37 pm on 8 October 2012

Vanuatu's sacked Police Commissioner, Joshua Bong, says the government and the acting commissioner have dismantled the police investigation into an alleged mutiny by suspending 10 high officers during the weekend.

Mr Bong said that those suspensions were done by the minister of internal affairs, Georges Wells, on the recommendation of the acting commissioner, Arthur Caulton.

Among the 10 high ranking officers, six are from the Tactical Response Group and the commander of the paramilitary Vanuatu Mobile Force, Aru Maralau.

They say they were suspended in connection with last month's arrest of Mr Caulton on charges of inciting mutiny.

Mr Caulton was appointed as acting commissioner last Friday by the President, Iolou Johnson Abbil, on recommendation of Mr Wells.

Mr Bong claims more officers are tipped to be suspended by Mr Wells under recommendation of Mr Caulton.

The Public Prosecutor, Kayleen Tavoa, says the mutiny case has failed to proceed because there were no statement to support the allegations of inciting mutiny.

She says the lack of supporting statements has given her no choice but to agree with defence lawyers that has prompted the Chief Justice to strike out the case.