18 Oct 2012

Two counts dropped in Vanuatu's Phocea case

12:36 pm on 18 October 2012

The prosecution in Vanuatu has withdrawn two charges against the captain of the Phocea, Richard Malaise, during the preliminary inquiry of the case.

The Daily Post reports the case is scheduled for next week after the Senior Magistrate Rita Naviti rejected bids for delays by two of the defendants, caretaker Ministers of Education and Internal Affairs, as they are campaigning for the election.

Ms Naviti said the court will follow the judiciary's schedule and not the politicians'.

There are now a total of 11 separate charges filed against the seven defendants of the case which centres on the legality of the mega yacht's entry last July.

The two counts against Mr Malaise were dropped after it was established that it wasn't him who had signed a false declaration.