2 Exonerated Over Illegal Vanuatu Citizenship Granting

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Case against Samoan and Tongan men dropped

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 5, 2012) – Charges against a Samoan man and a Tongan man that they obtained Vanuatu certificates of citizenship through false and misleading documents has been dropped.

The prosecutor, Tristan Karae, abandoned the case against Tongan Michael Tangataolakepa and Samoan, Ira Mateupage Donald, this morning after his main witness, Solomon Mangau, was stopped from appearing.

Mr. Mangau had already pleaded guilty on charge of complicity in obtaining citizenship by producing false and misleading documents.

Mr. Karae says it was through Mr. Mangau that the Tongan and the Samoan were granted the Vanuatu citizenship certificates less than a month after their arrival in the country.

A case against the former chairman of the Citizenship Commission, Joe Melson Arnambat, who was facing the same charge, was also dropped.

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