7 May 2003

Vanuatu mutiny conviction appeal ruling on Friday

4:35 pm on 7 May 2003

The Vanuatu Court of Appeal will rule on Friday on two appeals over the mutiny convictions given four senior police last December.

The four, former commissioner Holi Simon, former commander of the Vanuatu Mobile Force, Api Jack Marikembo, former assistant commissioner Paul Willie Reuben and district commander Eric Pakoa, were given two year suspended sentences.

They were convicted of mutiny, inciting mutiny, kidnapping and false imprisonment.

The crimes carry a maximum life term, but at their sentencing, judge Roger Coventry justified the lighter terms, citing the years of service the policemen had given the country.

The public prosecutor appealed on the grounds the sentences were too lenient, while the defence called for the convictions to be overturned.