Public Prosecutor v Kalanu

Supreme Court

1887 of 2020
05 Oct 2021

Justice Gustaaf Andrée Wiltens
Public Prosecutor
Atly Kalanu
Mr L. Young for the Public Prosecutor; Mr D. Yawha for the Defendant



A. Introduction

1. Mr Kalanu pleaded guilty to threat to kill. He told his former employer in November 2019 in the context of a dispute regarding the loss of his employment, that he would build a coffin, kill Mr Matou and put him inside the coffin. There is evidence that Mr Kalanu had commenced to build the coffin, and it was said he had a bush knife and intended to go to Mr Matou’s house to kill him. When Mr Matou learnt this, he went away and hid. When Mr Kalanu’s family learnt of this, they stepped in and made him see sense. 

2. There have been 2 custom reconciliation ceremonies. The first was on Tanna and involved a gift of gold, but Mr Matou said he did not see Mr Kalanu there. Accordingly, there was a second ceremony in Port Vila at which Mr Kalanu apologised and handed over mats and VT 100,000. His apology was accepted.

3. The two are related as cousins. They now live together in the same community peacefully.

4. What was a very heated situation has now settled down with common sense prevailing. Accordingly I see no need for a PSR, nor for any incarceration. I note that Mr Kalanu has no previous criminal convictions.

5. Mr Kalanu is sentenced to complete 200 hours of Community work.

6. Mr Kalanu has 14 days to appeal his sentence.

Dated at Isangel, this 5th day of October 2021



Justice G.A. Andrée Wiltens