Alleged police mutineers released from prison on bail

Following on from yesterday’s news, the Deputy Commissioner of Police Arthur Caulton and senior ranking officers Pierre Carlot (Commander South) and Tony Ata (former Police Service Commission Chairman) have been released from custody on bail conditions. This follows on from outgoing Commissioner Joshua Bong’s allegations of mutiny and the Magistrates’ Court granting bail Saturday night. The Magistrates’ Court, however, has limited jurisdiction and the case will have to go to the Supreme Court. The charge relates to inciting mutiny, Daily Post reports. At 3pm yesterday the bail conditions were granted. Bong has assured everyone that routine patrols will continue and the normal work of the police. He asks everyone to remain calm. It should be noted, however, his contract ended yesterday.

It is Minister George Wells who suspended Bong.Wells told Radio Vanuatu News that the issue being before the courts, Government would wait and see how the courts handle it. Wells: “None of us want to see confusion inside our police force. Bong told Radio Vanuatu News that the arrest of the senior police officers is an “internal matter for the VPF and something which has to be cleared up. We must let the courts do what they must do. Government is closely monitoring the situation”, Wells told Radio Vanuatu. Bong denied there was any likelihood of arresting others, or the Head of State, in his broadcast on Sunday.

President Iolu Abbil is on his home island, Tanna, Radio Vanuatu reports. He left on Saturday after the VPF carried out its operation to arrest senior police officers.

PM Sato Kilman at the United Nations General Assembly drew attention to territories still under French control. He was referring to French Polynesia and New Caledonia. He also detailed his concern for maritime rights such as Vanuatu’s with Matthew and Hunter Islands. He acknowledged that the French have recently begun bilateral talks on the issue. However, he made no mention of West Papua.