11 Nov 2002

Moves afoot to seek release of jailed former Vanuatu PM Sope

4:21 pm on 11 November 2002

Reports from Port Vila say a group of local chiefs are petitioning for the early release of Vanuatu's jailed former Prime Minister, Barak Sope.

The reports say the chiefs are concerned about the health of Sope who was jailed for three years earlier this year afte being convicted of fraud.

An official from the Department of Justice says a petition for Sope's early release has not been lodged and neither is it on the registry for parole applications to be decided in court.

The official says a late appeal regarding Sope's criminal case has been lodged but that will not be heard until next year.

Barak Sope was convicted of signing letters of guarantee worth millions of dollars on behalf of the government without first seeking the approval of parliament.