28 Aug 2012

Vanuatu Minister threatens to sue over Phocea claims

1:51 pm on 28 August 2012

Vanuatu's Minister of Education, Marcelino Pepite, is threatening to sue local media, claiming he has been defamed over stories linking him to the super yacht, Phocea.

There have been reports, including supporting photographs, showing Mr Pepite was one of two ministers who boarded the yacht before it had received a customs clearance.

Most of the Phocea crew have since been convicted on immigration offences while police say they will continue investigations into the ministers who allegedly boarded the vessel illegally.

But Mr Pepite says the stories carried by the Daily Post and Vanuatu Broadcasting are incorrect and politically motivated attempts to undermine him.

In response the Daily Post editor, Royson Willie, says their stories are based on the ongoing police investigation and they are not politically motivated.

Vanuatu Broadcasting editor, Olivia William, says their stories are also based on police reports.