VANUATU COURT ORDERS NEWSPAPER TO STOP REPORTING

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Sept. 10) - The editor and publisher of Vanuatu’s Daily Post, Marc Neil-Jones, says he is shocked at a court ruling banning the paper from publishing stories concerning the chairman of the Vanuatu Maritime Authority.

The government agency is under investigation for alleged mismanagement.

VMA Chairman Christophe Emele had sought the injunction, claiming the paper published defamatory stories about his family.

Neil-Jones says the court order raises questions about media freedom in Vanuatu.

He says the stories on the VMA are in the public interest.

"This case we believe was already in front of the supreme court so the fact that the magistrate's court has come out with a separate decision has raised concerns from the point of view of the media and freedom of expression," he said.

Emele is suing Neil-Jones for defamation, while Mr Neil Jones says he will appeal the court injunction against his paper.

Meanwhile, police are investigating claims that Neil Jones was assaulted by friends of Emele.

September 10, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/ 

 

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