5 Jul 2007

Vanuatu lands minister rejects corruption allegations

6:51 pm on 5 July 2007

Vanuatu's Minister of Lands says allegations being levelled against him of corruption in land deals are unfounded.

Allegations have been made in recent months surrounding Maxime Carlot Korman and his involvement in at least four land deals in Port Vila and two in Santo.

The Daily Post newspaper has printed documents to show that as a minister, Mr Korman has issued leases to a company controlled by himself and his son on disputed land for well under the market price which was then onsold at a huge profit.

Transparency International also alleges the minister has been giving away public land and unregistered property to political friends.

However, the Mr Carlot Korman says those making the allegations have vested interest in land dealings.

"Those allegations are not true. I am not obliged to answer to the ridiculous news made by our newspaper. I'm not prepared - I will never answer them. if the ombudsman wants to make a report or question me about that I will respond to the ombudsman."

Maxime Carlot Korman