16 March 1998


Ombudswoman's reports back on Radio Vanuatu

Incident details

legal action

(PINA/IFEX) - Radio Vanuatu, a national radio service operated by the
country's only broadcaster, the government-owned Vanuatu Broadcasting and
Television Corporation (VBTC), has once again aired remarks made by
Vanuatu's Ombudswoman Marie Noelle Ferrieux Patterson relating to political
corruption. In a letter to Evelyn Toa, the Radio Vanuatu news editor, she
indicated that she was "encouraged to see prominence being given to the
latest report." She added that she felt "that such attention to the report
"matches the public's interest in the issue and the Ombudsman reports in
general" and that"VBTC is ...now matching its claim to independent reporting."

**Updates IFEX alerts dated 13 January 1998 and 13 February 1998**

Expressing concern about threats made against Radio Vanuatu journalists, one
of which is alleged to have been made by former Cabinet minister and
parliamentarian Willie Jimmy (who has been named in a number of the
Ombudswoman's reports), she urged them to "make a formal complaint to the
police, particularly if you are in fear for your personal safety." She noted
that "this type of thing cannot remain hidden" and said that her office
would investigate such threats as well (see IFEX alerts).


Pacific Islands News Association
Level 2, 46 Gordon Street, Damodar Centre
Private Mail Bag, Suva
Fiji Islands
pina (@) connect.com.fj
Fax:+679 3317055
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