6 Apr 2011

Vanuatu PM stresses rule of law amid Iauko case

3:01 pm on 6 April 2011

A spokesperson for Vanuatu's prime minister says the law must be allowed to prevail now one of his ministers has been charged in relation to the assault of a newspaper publisher.

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.

Richard Kaltongga, who is an advisor to the Prime Minister, says no decision can be made on whether Mr Iauko should be removed from the government until a judgement has been made by the courts.

Mr Kaltongga says Sato Kilman believes nobody is above the law.

"The Prime Minister's position is that the law must be allowed to prevail, and the law is for everybody. Of course Mr Jones will have to take his case up in the proper place, which is the courts of Vanuatu and we'll allow the courts to decide."

Richard Kaltongga says the Prime Minister has given instructions that there will be no political interference in the case.