3 Dec 2012

Vanuatu broadcasting chief says suspension not due to political interference

6:17 pm on 3 December 2012

The General Manager of Vanuatu's Broadcasting and Television Corporation says a senior journalist has been suspended because the broadcaster wants to eliminate politically biased reports.

Antoine Malsungai is suspended for two weeks following his segment on allegations that the Prime Minister Sato Kilman had not yet cleared a debt to government of 140,000 US dollars.

Sato Kilman's alleged debt was the reason why he was left off the initial candidates list for the recent election.

The VBTC manager, Fred Vurobaravu, says the segment should have covered other politicians who have debts to government.

He says it's not the first time Mr Malsungai has breached staff guidelines.

"He is known as one of the easily influenced journalists within our team so I hope we're not faced with other problems in the future. It (the suspension) was nothing political. I have received a complaint from the Prime Minister from his office but it (the suspension) was not on the PM's instruction or whatever."

Fred Vurobaravu