18 Jul 2006

Appointment of new Vanuatu police chief dogged by more controversy

8:04 pm on 18 July 2006

Controversy continues to surround the appointment of a new police commissioner in Vanuatu with allegations of misappropriation of funds against the senior officer thought most likely to get the job.

The news agency PACNEWS quotes what it says are reliable sources within the police hierarchy who say a letter has been sent to the Police Service Commission to highlight investigations against Lieutenant Colonel Lui Patu.

Local media had earlier published a leaked document from the Commission which indicates Lt Colonel Patu will become the new police chief.

Vanuatu has been without a permanent police chief for more than five years.

Meanwhile a senior police officer, who did not want to be named, has told the Vanuatu Daily Post newspaper that Lt Col Patu was involved in the police mutiny in 2002, which led to the jailing of four of the most senior officers.