16 Sep 2014

Vanuatu police chief suspended

1:21 pm on 16 September 2014

Vanuatu's police commissioner, Arthur Caulton, has confirmed his suspension from the role by the Police Service Commission.

Mr Caulton says the suspension involves allegations around the efforts to arrest the former commissioner, Joshua Bong, two years ago.

Mr Bong and other officers had been sought over allegations of mutiny, inciting mutiny, kidnapping, unlawful arrest and unlawful imprisonment.

The arresting officers had been directed by Mr Caulton, who was then the acting commissioner.

Mr Bong had earlier staged a similar attempt to arrest Mr Caulton on a mutiny charge.

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Photo: RNZ

Mr Caulton says the mutiny case has divided the force and the Commission cannot entertain such division.

The chairman of the commission, Sam Dan Avock, says the mutiny case is one of a number of issues prompting the suspension.

Mr Caulton, who remains on full pay, is yet to decide if he will challenge his suspension in court.

The new acting commissioner is Aru Maralau.