23 Jan 2012

Vanuatu Police Commissioner's challenge against coroner's report to proceed

8:02 pm on 23 January 2012

Vanuatu's Police Commissioner Joshua Bong has had his right to challenge a coroner's report implicating the force in the death of a detainee upheld by a Supreme Court decision.

On Friday, the Court dismissed the application of the Attorney General to strike out Commissioner Bong's urgent application to change the Coroner's report on the inquest into the cause of John Bule's death in 2009.

The report by a New Zealand judge, Justice Nevin Dawson, alleged that Bule died after he was beaten by police during his arrest following his escape from prison in Port Vila.

Mr Bong says he is challenging the Coroner's report because he think that it was biased, misleading and was highly selective in its use of evidence.

"A coroner's report is a report but again, if we are not happy about the report that was [presented, we have the right to challenge that report, which we are now proceeding, a challenge of that report within the court of Vanuatu."

Joshua Bong says the case is now between him and Justice Dawson.