LIGHT SENTENCE FOR VANUATU MINISTER CRITICIZED

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Iauko fined $150 for assault of news publisher

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 1, 2011) – The secretary-general of Vanuatu’s NGO network, VANGO, says the sentence handed to a government minister for his role in the assault of a newspaper publisher is unfair.

The Minister of Public Utilities and Infrastructure, Harry Iauko, has been fined US$150 for aiding and abetting damage to property as well as the assault of Marc Neil-Jones in March at the Daily Post office in Port Vila.

VANGO’s secretary-general Viviane Obed says the Minister has not been held accountable for his actions which were not fitting for a leader.

"They have to be responsible of what actions they take and it doesn’t show that the minister himself has displayed a good leadership role, in not getting - how do I say, I don’t want to say the word punished - but he should be taking care of his responsibility and whatever weight that is given to him, it’s supposed to be fair and just."

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