Sunday, April 10, 2011

[pima.nius] Vanuatu Publisher assault case

1:00 PM |

via Pacific Journos


Twist in developments here over my assault case. See front page story below. Still no charges but my understanding is that police will lay charges they have prepared against against him and the four others shortly when he gets a summons to the police station. He is still off work following a minor stroke so the last thing I need is his health failing when charges are laid. I have been forced to have a bodyguard and security at the house and office. It is now 5 weeks since the assault and still no official charges laid although police advise charges will be made when he is summoned to the station and he completes a statement.
Marc Neil-Jones


Four suspects in assault case to appear in Court

By Staff Reporter

Minister for Public Infrastructure and Utilities Harry Iauko is yet to be summoned to Court to answer to allegations of threats and the assault of Daily Post (DP) Publisher Marc Neil-Jones against him.

Daily Post has been told that no charges have been leveled against him yet.

But the DP was told that police interrogation with minister Iauko and all men allegedly involved is completed and the minister will be summoned shortly.

The DP was also informed that the Magistrate Court did not sit for the mention as scheduled on 2pm Thursday as the Judiciary closed its doors to pay respect and condolences to a staff member who passed away and will advised when it reschedules another date.

Moreover the Court 'mention' scheduled for yesterday afternoon was not for minister Iauko to appear in court as reported in the media but for the first four men who accompanied him to the Daily Post office to appear before the Magistrate Court.

These suspects have over three charges leveled against them in their involvement on the alleged assault on the DP Publisher.

They were initially arrested on 25 March, 2011 and release on bail conditions after investigations into the assault on Friday, March 4.

At the time of their arrest  minister Iauko was not in the country but on his return police interviewed him and the four remaining suspects at the Police station.

Meanwhile DP Publisher Marc Neil-Jones has voiced concerns that the "charge of the breach of Leadership code be included at the same time as the other counts to avoid the possibility of double jeopardy (the prosecution of a person twice for the same offence)."

"It is the fifth week since the assault and charges are yet to be leveled against the minister," Neil-Jones said when congratulating the Police Investigation team on an excellent investigation.

"It is our fervent hope that the case will not be delayed and justice will prevail."

On 07/04/2011, at 12:41 AM, Lisa Williams-Lahari wrote:

via IFJ,

Text is below, and PDF attached.
Media Release: Vanuatu


April 6, 2011




Minister to Face Vanuatu Court in Publisher Assault Case




The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins Pacific Freedom
Forum (PFF) in welcoming the initiation of legal proceedings in the case
of a brutal assault against Vanuatu Daily Post publisher Marc
Neil-Jones.



Vanuatu's Government Infrastructure and Public Utilities Minister, Harry
Iauko, is set to appear in the Magistrate's Court in Port Vila on April
7. The court will decide whether charges will be laid over the
minister's alleged role in an assault on Neil-Jones by a group of men at
the Daily Post offices on March 4.



Neil-Jones was left shaken and with visible injuries after he was hit on
the head from behind, kicked, and throttled by his attackers during the
assault, the newspaper reported on March 5.



Iauko allegedly led the group of men into the office and yelled abuse
and threats. He also allegedly threatened the newspaper's editor, Royson
Willie, with assault.



"The IFJ welcomes indications that Vanuatu's authorities are taking
steps to observe the rule of law and deal with the case," IFJ
Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.



"Enacting proper legal procedures is essential in order to send a clear
message that intimidation and assaults on journalists and media workers
will not be tolerated. This case is a test of Vanuatu's commitment to
uphold the right of media personnel to safety and protection."



For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919



The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries



Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific



Find the IFJ on Facebook here
<http://www.facebook.com/pages/IFJ-Asia-Pacific/144789058887748>








--
Lisa Williams-Lahari
Media Freelancer
Regional Coordinator, IFJ Pacific Media for Democracy and Human Rights
Project
Ph Mobile: 677-7574230
Skype: lisalahari

* "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that
matter."-- Martin Luther King Jr.  *

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