11 Oct 2011

Trial opens over Mare riots in New Caledonia

1:31 pm on 11 October 2011

The trial has opened in New Caledonia of 18 people accused of ransacking property on the island of Mare during fatal clashes two months ago.

Four people were shot dead and more than 20 others wounded when a crowd of about 300 people unsuccessfully tried to dislodge another group from the island's airport.

One of the defendants is being investigated for alleged homicide.

The prosecution has demanded suspended jail terms of up to six months for those committing the more serious property offences.

During the clashes, cars were burnt ans shops destroyed.

According to the local newspaper, verdicts are expected in two weeks.