7 Apr 2011

Vanuatu publisher says it was not easy for govt to take action against Iauko

8:11 am on 7 April 2011

The Vanuatu newspaper publisher who's alleged a minister led an attack on him says he understands it's not easy for the government to take action against him.

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

The Prime Minister's office says the law must now be allowed to take its course before the government can act against the minister.

Marc Neil Jones says he understands why he's been encouraged by people within the government to pursue legal action

"It's not easy for them because they still can't sack or suspend Iauko without the government falling. So the easiest way for them to handle it is to let it go through due process through the courts and hopefully if there is a conviction then they are going to have to make another decision on whether he is suspended once a conviction is handed down."

Marc Neil Jones says the government's position was disappointing because no minister had previously been taken to court.

But he says if Mr Iauko is found guilty it will set a good precedent.