9 Sep 2003

Wife of Vanuatu public official admits assaulting newspaper publisher over what she say was a defama

5:16 pm on 9 September 2003

The wife of the chairman of the Vanuatu Maritime Authority, Maryanne Emele, says she and a female friend assaulted the publisher of the Daily Post newspaper, Marc Neil-Jones, because of insults and a defamatory letter he published.

The letter, submitted by a concerned citizen, accused her husband, Christophe Emele, of offering the position of Maritime High Commissioner to the candidate who is the biological father of her adopted child.

Mrs Emele says while she was wrong in making the assault, she says she was only protecting the rights of her family.

When she attacked Mr Neil-Jones, she says her husband was elsewhere but Mr Neil-Jones says he was present.

"I went down to see him to ask him if he could give me any reason to why he would put such a letter in the newspaper about our private life, nothing to do with the MA. And his response was disgusting."

She says her son has nothing to do with public allegations her husband is facing in regards to his work in the Maritime Authority.