8 Jul 2011

Media group slams fine given to Vanuatu minister

8:47 am on 8 July 2011

The Pacific Freedom Forum says the minimal fine given to a Vanuatu cabinet minister pleaded guilty to an assault charge represents a clear victory for bush justice over the rule of law.

Government minister Harry Iauko was fined about 150 US dollars after he entered guilty pleas to aiding and abetting an assault on the Daily Post publisher, Marc Neil-Jones.

The regional media monitoring group says it sends a clear message that it's OK for high level leaders of Vanuatu to lead mobs into newsrooms and assault people whose job is to keep the public informed.

It says the Vanuatu justice system has delivered a verdict which shows that Mr Neil Jones and media colleagues had every right to be worried that justice would not be served.