18 Jan 2017

Delay of New Caledonia appeal case

1:32 pm on 18 January 2017

The appeal court in New Caledonia has deferred the case of a man jailed for making death threats against the police until April.

Noumea municipal police facade

Noumea municipal police facade Photo: RNZ

Thirty-one-year-old Rock Wamytan of St Louis was jailed for two years last month for telling the police over the phone that he would shut down the road south of Noumea, and threatened to unleash a civil war and even kill a police officer.

The local newspaper reported that, at his request, the trial has been deferred because his lawyer was not in the territory.

Wamytan, who is also known as Banane, was the first person to be convicted in connection with the unrest near St Louis which began in October after police shot dead an unarmed prison escapee driving a stolen car.

Wamytan denied the accusation that he was among those who used firearms and targeted travellers and police officers along the road near St Louis.

An online petition has been launched to help the inmate's family, with one supporter claiming he was assaulted and seriously injured in a cell at the court immediately after his conviction.

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