EIGHT SENTENCED IN BEATING OF VANUATU PUBLISHER

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Cabinet minster Iauko pleads guilty in March 4 assault

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 30, 2011) – Vanuatu cabinet minister, Harry Iauko, has pleaded guilty to charges relating to the assault of publisher Marc Neil-Jones.

The Daily Post reports that Senior Magistrate Rita Naviti sentenced the eight men involved in the assault of its publisher with fines ranging up to nearly one thousand US dollars

[PIR editor’s note: The assault, in which Daily Post publisher Marc Neil-Jones was reportedly choked, took place at the Post offices on March 4 of this year.]

Mr Iauko, who was recently re-named the public utilities minister, was sentenced to fines totalling nearly 150 US dollars for aiding and abetting damage to property and for aiding and abetting intentional assault.

Three charges of unlawful assembly, unlawful entry and criminal trespass were withdrawn by the State Prosecutor after he pleaded not guilty.

In her decision the judge said Mr Iauko pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the commission of two offences because he feels responsible for the action of his supporters and omitted to prevent them from going that far.

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