Kiribati MPs yet to see report on ferry tragedy

The Kiribati president Taneti Maamau says an investigation into the sinking of the Kiribati ferry, MV Butiraoi, is now complete, and commissioners are writing up their report.

The president was responding to a question by Sir Ieremia Tabai, the MP of Nonouti, from where the vessel had departed.

More than 80 people died when the ferry sank at the end of January this year.

Sir Ieremia said MPs had previously been told the report should be ready before the current sitting of parliament.

President Taneti said the delay was due to the sudden illness of the commission's chairman, and he now expected the report before the next parliament meeting in December.

Meanwhile Mr Taneti has told MPs that the government is not legally bound to table the commission's report before parliament.

He told parliament that this report is the government's and MPs cannot expect government to provide them with copies.

Sir Ieremia said the government should make its report public because many people remain anxious about what happened.