Suspended Vanuatu Police Reject Reconciliation Process

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Group hasn’t faced charges over allegations, won’t apologize

By Ricky Binihi

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, April 8, 2013) – Members of the Vanuatu Police Force who were suspended after the arrest of Acting Police Commissioner Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Caulton say they will not be part of any reconciliation planned by the government.

Spokesman for the group suspended Chief Inspector Jackson Noal told the Daily Post they are part of a disciplined Police Force and are required by law to face the charges brought against them in the Police Service Commission.

"But to date no police officer that has been suspended has been charged with an offence. And it’s now about nine to 10 months since we were disciplined and the only body which could hear our case is the Police Service Commission while according to the Police Act senior police officers will hear the case against junior cops.

"We cannot attend a ceremony and apologize for something we were accused of but has not been put to us in writing," the former Police Commander South said.

Mr Noal claimed the Prime Minister Moana Carcasses government is negotiating with Acting Police Commissioner Caulton to organize a ceremony with the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs that would be staged today at the Chiefs Nakamal.

The suspended senior Police officer feared that the Police too would be part of the reconciliation ceremony with the government.

"We do not know why we were punished. Justice delayed is justice denied and we have been denied justice for a long long time.

"We cannot attend or be part of the and peace ceremony even though we understand that (senior policeman) Ron Tamtam who was suspended is already back at work but his case has not gone through the Public Service Commission," Noal told Daily Post.

He said to keep the status of the Vanuatu Police Force as a discipline organization all the suspended officers need to appear before the Police Commission or senior Police Officers and the charges they were being charged with is read out against them.

"It’s now almost ten months and we are still waiting for justice," the senior policeman said.

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