3 May 2005

Vanuatu Government slammed for being slow to appoint new staff at prosecutor's office

6:53 pm on 3 May 2005

The watchdog group, Transparency International Vanuatu, has raised concerns after the Government launched an attack on a local newspaper which queried the lack of staff in the Public Prosecutor's office.

The office has just one junior instead of the six experienced prosecutors needed, including the Public Prosecutor whose contract finished on Tuesday.

The Government spokesman, Patrick Crowby, says they will second a senior staffer from the State Law office this week, and have begun advertising the positions.

He says the Daily Post needed to get its facts right.

But TIV's Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson says the failure to have staff already in place is another example of the foot dragging and indifference shown by successive governments towards a properly functioning law and order structure.

She says finding a new Public Prosecutor, who must have seven years experience as a solicitor, will take months.

"Most of these guys with seven years experience all work in the private sector. So they all know it is not going to be easy because they are offering a position at a minimum of half of what he would make in the private sector, so it is not going to be easy and second there are not many."

Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson