5 Apr 2011

Vanuatu Minister Iauko to appear in court in relation to assault of publisher

8:56 pm on 5 April 2011

The Vanuatu cabinet minister accused of involvement in an alleged assault of the publisher of the country's Daily Post newspaper is due to appear in the Magistrates Court in Port Vila on Thursday in relation to the incident.

The Public Utilities minister, Harry Iauko, is alleged to have led a group of eight men into the office of Marc Neil-Jones where they assaulted him after his newspaper ran an article about land deals which Mr Iauko made while Lands Minister.

The eight men are understood to have been charged over the incident which occurred a month ago.

This comes as the government of Sato Kilman continues to face criticism for not taking any action to discipline its Minister over the alleged assault which has prompted outrage among regional media organisations and strong statements from various foreign diplomats.