6 Apr 2010

Vanuatu coroner leaves country after threats

2:22 pm on 6 April 2010

Vanuatu's coroner has suddenly left the country, following reports of new threats against him and his family.

The New Zealand judge, Justice Nevin Dawson, has been living under tight security after releasing a report strongly criticising the police paramilitary unit, the Vanuatu Mobile Force, last month.

Our correspondent in Vanuatu, Hilaire Bule, reports.

"I contact the office of the New Zealand High Commission this morning, and they said he's on holiday, but from the officials at the supreme court where Justice Dawson is working, they say his holiday was not planned. So we don't know, at the moment, the reason of his departure. But the media reports this morning say that Justice Dawson canceled all his appointments with his friends over the Easter weekend, saying that he has to leave to pack his luggage for 24 hours to go back on holiday but, he also told his friends he don't know when he will be back in the country."

Hilaire Bule in Vanuatu.