6 Apr 2011

Vanuatu publisher welcomes Iauko case progress

1:21 pm on 6 April 2011

A Vanuatu publisher has welcomed the court appearance of the government minister he accused of assault, but says he's concerned pressure will be applied to the prosecution.

The State Prosecution Office says the Public Utilities Minister, Harry Iauko, will appear in court tomorrow on charges of inciting and abetting assault and unlawful assembly, over his alleged involvement in an attack on the Daily Post publisher, Marc Neil Jones.

Mr Neil Jones says he's happy with the way the police have pursued the case although it's taken a month for Mr Iauko to be brought to justice.

But he says he's concerned about how prosecutors will handle the pressure he's heard is being applied by Mr Iauko's advisors.

"My concern is how the public prosecutors office will handle it. I was told by Chief Inspector George Songi that pressure had already been applied by people surrounding Minister Iauko on why this has gone as far as it had, and it was a simple assault case and why were they targetting the Minister."

Marc Neil Jones says he understands the Police Commissioner and the Government want the case to follow due process through the courts.