25 Jan 2005

Vanuatu Prime Minister rejects claim he stopped inquiry into Vohor arrest

4:54 pm on 25 January 2005

Vanuatu's Prime Minister, Ham Lini, denies he's stopped a commission of inquiry into the attempted arrest of the former Prime Minster because of a conflict of interest.

The former Prime Minister, Serge Vohor, claims Mr Lini put an end to it because some of the people who could have been implicated were close to him.

But Mr Lini says the inquiry was stopped because staff in the public prosecutors officer used a provision with the law to avoid appearing in court.

Mr Lini says he's got nothing to hide.

"I have nothing hidden and in my capacity I think I have done everything to get him out of the situation he was taking."

Mr Vohor launched the inquiry after there was an attempt to arrest him following disparaging remarks he made in parliament about the chief justice.

Contempt charges had been laid while Mr Vohor was overseas and the attempted arrest happened on his return.

The charges were quashed by the Supreme Court on the grounds that Mr Vohor had not been fairly treated.

The inquiry was scheduled to complete its report by today and Mr Lini has asked to see the incomplete version.