1 May 2004

Vanuatu president won't pardon himself of own convictions

7:11 am on 1 May 2004

Vanuatu's president won't be using the powers that come with his office to wipe out his criminal conviction.

On Easter Monday, Alfred Maseng Nalo was elected to be president.

It's since been revealed Mr Maseng is serving a suspended sentence for three counts including receiving stolen goods, and the state law office is now taking action against him.

The lawyer now acting for the president, Bill Barni, says the president doesn't intend to use his special powers to pardon himself of his convictions.

Mr Barni won't divulge what legal arguments he's to use in court to try to keep Mr Maseng in the presidency.

He says he's continuing meetings the president to establish a course of action.

The state law office is to start a judicial review of Mr Maseng's election.