12 Dec 2011

Vanuatu Minister hopes to relaunch inquiry into lack of action on Coroner's Report

8:24 pm on 12 December 2011

The Vanuatu Justice Minister says he hopes a stalled commission of inquiry into why the recommendations of a Coroner's Report haven't been implemented will restart soon.

Nearly two years ago the Coroner, New Zealand judge Nevin Dawson, who'd investigated the death of a man in custody, produced a report that was scathingly critical of Vanuatu police.

But the report has never been tabled in Parliament or publicly discussed.

Justice Minister Ralph Regenvanu established a commission of inquiry into why the report hadn't been acted upon, but this was stopped almost immediately by a judicial review sought by the Police Commissioner, Joshua Bong.

Mr Regenvanu says they are now trying to have that application struck out.

"We want to get the commission back on track. We want to get the commissioner's application struck out - for being out of time, basically. He put that application in one year after the Coroner's Report was released, so we are trying to get that application struck out so we can recommence the inquiry, the commission, and I believe that the commission of inquiry will be the avenue required to deal with those issues."