14 Apr 2010

TI Vanuatu says more than inquiry needed to tackle VMF

3:16 pm on 14 April 2010

Transparency International in Vanuatu says the government has to do more than hold a Commission of Inquiry into the police paramilitary unit, the Vanuatu Mobile Force.

Last month, the VMF was strongly criticised a Coroner's report, compiled by New Zealand judge, Justice Nevin Dawson, who described an organisation that placed itself above the law.

MP Ralph Regenvanu this week revealed that the government is planning to launch a Commission of Inquiry but TI's Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson says all the investigation needed has been done and now its recommendations must be implemented.

"In Vanuatu the commissions of inquiry are usually a way to put something under the carpet. Most commissions of inquiry are never published. Most commissions of inquiry conclusion are not known or barely known, and most commissions of inquiry recommendations are never followed and you never hear. I think it is the best way to bury something. So the need of that is not. What is needed now is for the Commissioner of Police to take the appropriate step."

Justice Dawson left Vanuatu earlier this month after he and his family were intimidated.

Others speaking out have also faced threats.