Breaking news: Two Phocea suspects to face court this afternoon on immigration charges

The Magistrates’ Court in Port Vila meets at 3 this afternoon to deal with two suspects involved in the case of the sailing boat Phocea. One is Samoan and the other Tongan and there are charges relating to the manner in which they acquired Vanuatu citizenship, reported Radio Vanuatu News.

A warrant of arrest was issued by the court this morning for the chairman of the Citizenship Commission Joe Melsen Arnhambat who failed to attend the court sitting at which he was required.

This matter has effectively further delayed the trial of the captain of the Phocea, against whom charges may have to be altered.

In a related matter, Minister of Education Marcellino Pipite is demanding prominent apologies from Daily Post and VBTC concerning the manner in which his name has been mentioned in connection to a photo found on board the vessel Phocea without consultation with him. He called a second press conference this morning and issued an ultimatum.