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RAN Sailor Charged With Manslaughter In Noumea

Department of Defence Media Mail List

CPA 360/06 Sunday, 10 December 2006

RAN Sailor Charged With Manslaughter In Noumea

During the early hours of Saturday 9 December 2006 a junior sailor from the Royal Australian Navy ship, HMAS MELVILLE, was arrested in Noumea in relation to an alleged assault and subsequent death of a local elderly female resident.

Australian Consulate staff have visited the sailor at Noumea Police Headquarters and he has been provided with legal representation. The sailor appeared before a local magistrate this evening and has been charged with Involuntary Manslaughter with No Premeditation. Bail has been denied and the sailor remains in custody in the Central Penitentiary in Nouville which is New Caledonia™s main gaol. The sailor is subject to the laws of the French legal system and he will await trial on a date to be determined.

The ship’s Commanding Officer will visit the sailor within the next 48 hours and he is working closely with Australian Consulate staff to provide support. Australian officials are cooperating fully with New Caledonian authorities in the management of these serious charges.

The sailor’s family in Australia is being supported by the Royal Australian Navy and Defence Community Organisation personnel.

HMAS MELVILLE is in Noumea on an operational visit in preparation for a search for the Blackhawk helicopter which crashed off Fiji on 29 November 2006.


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