22 Sep 2005

Gay rape charges against New Zealander dropped by Vanuatu police

1:46 pm on 22 September 2005

A gay rape case against a New Zealand property millionaire has been dropped by Vanuatu police due to a lack of evidence.

The Dominion Post newspaper reports that James Bernard Quin was due to go to trial on Monday and faced seven charges including rape, indecent assault and possession of cannabis.

But his Vanuatu-based New Zealand defence lawyer Nigel Morrison said that police in Port Vila withdrew the charges last week.

A Fiji crewman and an 18-year-old ni-Vanuatu man complained to police about activities on board the Marie Chantal between March 5th and 6th.

The 18-year-old reportedly swam ashore and told police he had been raped.

But Mr Morrison said the boy eventually acknowledged the fact that what he had said originally was not entirely true and as a result the police realised that they couldn't sensibly proceed.

Police dropped the cannabis charge after the legality of the search warrant, which turned up the drug, was challenged.