Teen acquitted of Vanuatu murder

Ned Lowe.
Ned Lowe.

The father of a New Zealand teenager accused of murder in Vanuatu says the family is trying to move on after a Supreme Court ruling in the teen's favour.

Ned Lowe, 18, was charged with the intentional homicide of his friend Roger Kamisak, 18, on Tanna Island in July 2015.

Vanuatu police alleged he beat Mr Kamisak with a piece of wood, stabbed him and ran him over with a car. His body was later found in a burned-out car.

The death sparked widespread disorder on Tanna Island, with the victim's friends and relatives allegedly behind two arsons that caused about $2 million damage to the Lowe family's resort, Tanna Lodge, sending the family into police protection.

The resort run by Ned Lowe's family was attacked by arsonists in the aftermath of the killing. Photo / Supplied
The resort run by Ned Lowe's family was attacked by arsonists in the aftermath of the killing. Photo / Supplied

After spending several months in prison, Mr Lowe has been acquitted of the murder in a Supreme Court ruling.

Mr Lowe's father, Hugh Lowe, told the Herald the family were now trying to move on.

"The whole thing has been devastating for us," he said.

"It's all been in the public eye. We rely on guests from New Zealand.

"No one wants to stay somewhere that's associated with murder.

"We're trying to get on with our lives."

Vanuatu police Chief Inspector George Twomey told the Herald at the time, the events had caused "a lot of tension" on the island.

"If something like this happens of a significant nature they want to deal with things in their own way," he said.

"It's hard to believe something like this happened on Tanna Island. People have a lot of respect for the expats, especially with what they are doing for business."

According to Tanna Lodge's Facebook page, the Lowes bought Tanna Lodge in 2004 and spent five years restoring it.

Following the arsons, a meeting was held between police and chiefs of local tribes to try to restore order to the island.


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