VANUATU YOUTH CHARGED IN STONING DEATH OF SOLOMON ISLANDER

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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (January 6, 1998 - PACNEWS)---The young man held by Vanuatu police in Port Vila in connection with the death of a Solomon Islands citizen on New Year's Day has been charged with "intentional assault causing death."

Police officials say the man will appear in Port Vila Magistrate's Court to defend himself on January 19, Radio Vanuatu reports.

The Solomon Islander, Denis Gary Runikera, was stoned to death after he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a roadside bench, injuring a youth sitting on the bench.

Vanuatu Prime Minister Serge Vohor has sent his own and his country's condolences and apologies to his Solomon Islands counterpart, Bartholomew Ulufa'alu, and Runikera’s family.

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