16 May 2012

Vanuatu advisor in Australian court over fraud allegations

4:35 pm on 16 May 2012

A Vanuatu government advisor, Clarence Marae, has appeared in court in Australia on fraud allegations.

Mr Marae was arrested last month while passing through Sydney airport with Vanuatu's prime minister, Sato Kilman, en route to Israel.

He has been charged with one count of conspiring to defraud the Australian Commonwealth, but no details of the allegations were read out.

Mr Marae made no application for bail and will remain in custody until the matter is mentioned again later this month.

The Vanuatu government claimed that Canberra breached protocol in the way it treated Mr Kilman in Sydney and expelled all Australian federal police last week.