FRENCH CONSUL ASSAULTED AT PORT VILA RESTAURANT

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By Evelyne Toa

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (The Independent, May 9) – The French consul, Bruno Magnenat, was allegedly assaulted last Friday night at Trader Vics bar in Port Vila

Mr Magnenat was talking to ni-Vanuatu friends when the person, apparently under the influence of alcohol, allegedly approached them and assaulted him.

With the assistance of a number of people, the consul believed he identified the man as a well-known politician in Efate.

Eye witnesses said security personnel helped to eject the man from Trader Vics.

The Independent source alleged this was not the first time an incident had occurred between the man and French embassy staff. In 2003, he allegedly assaulted the spouse of the embassy accountant, after their car ran over his dog.

The French embassy says it plays an important role in promoting and strengthening friendly and bilateral relationships, including working in partnership with various local institutions between the French territory of New Caledonia and Vanuatu, and this kind of attitude will not contribute to that friendship, but instead creates a bad image for Vanuatu among expatriates residents.

The reason for the man's action is still unknown.

As of Friday, Consul Magnenat, who is responsible for issuing French visas at the embassy, confirmed the incident. He added that he would not lodge a complaint to the police, because he believes that force won't be able to help in the matter.

May 10, 2005

Port Vila Presse: http://www.news.vu/en/

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