5 Sep 2012

Vanuatu magistrate says no more adjournments on citizenship trial

8:29 am on 5 September 2012

A Vanuatu magistrate, Rita Naiviti, has warned state prosecutors she will not allow any more adjournments in a hearing over the allegations that citizenship was unlawfully granted to two men from Samoa and Tonga.

Ms Naviti made the warning after four adjournments.

She has asked the prosecutor to ensure his five witnesses are at the Magistrates Court this morning.

The court is considering allegations Tongan Michael Tangataolakepa, and Samoan Ira Mateupage Donald, illegally acquired Vanuatu citizenship certificates.

They were granted Vanuatu citizenship earlier this year after being in the country less than a month.

Yesterday morning the magistrate ordered the arrest of one prosecution witness, the deputy principal immigration officer, James Narwayeng, after he failed to turn up at court.

But he did attend the court for the afternoon sitting.