20 Apr 2011

Vanuatu inquiry opens into police inaction after inmate death

1:37 pm on 20 April 2011

The Vanuatu Justice Minister has set up a commission of inquiry to find out why there's been no apparent action taken a year after the release of a coroner's report into the death of a man in police custody.

The report into the death of John Bule following an interrogation was also critical of the behaviour of police and described a force that saw itself as above the law.

Ralph Regenvanu says the then coroner, New Zealand judge Nevin Dawson, had made a number of recommendations, not least that the people responsible for Mr Bule's death be pursued, but it's not apparent that anything's been done.

"So the point of the commission is to go recommendation by recommendation. Find out why they haven't been implemented, or if they have been, to what extent they have been. If they haven't been, what are the reasons, what are the obstacles that have prevented implementation, and then recommend a way forward to complete the implementation of the recommendations."