17 Jan 2016

Vanuatu's former public prosecutor dies suddenly

12:46 pm on 17 January 2016

A former public prosecutor and sister of Vanuatu's first prime minister has died.

Heather Lini (right) pictured in England in 2001.

Heather Lini (right) pictured in England in 2001. Photo: British Friends of Vanuatu

Heather Lini, who in 2014 married the country's ombudsman, Kalkot Mataskelekele, died after returning home from campaigning for her nephew Charles Lini.

There has been no official statement from the family on the cause of her death, but a relative and journalist at the Vanuatu Daily Post, Godwin Ligo, said she fell at the home of a family member on Saturday and was rushed to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

A lawyer educated in New Zealand, she was also public prosecutor an adviser to the country's National Provident Fund, and one of the many siblings of the first PM, Father Walter Lini.

Godwin Ligo says she was a hardworking and respected woman in her own right.

"Very diplomatic, very humble, with a very genuine approach in terms of her profession that she carries out. And though she comes from that family with that background she's a very humble person. She was until last night when she died, continually practising her legal profession."

Godwin Ligo says her funeral will be held on Monday in Port Vila.