27 Jul 2007

PNG MP serving rape conviction wins seat in general election

10:24 am on 27 July 2007

A convicted rapist serving a 12-year-jail term has won a seat in Papua New

Guinea's parliament.

Former Madang governor and MP, James Yali, was sentenced to jail in January 2006 for raping the 17-year-old sister of his de facto wife in October 2004.

Despite the fact he was in jail, he was allowed to stand for election as an MP in the Rai Coast electorate because he is appealing against his rape conviction.

Yali, an independent, polled more than 5,400 votes after a tight race against PNG Country Party candidate Niuro Sapia.

Yali's lawyer Greg Sheppard said an application was being filed in court seeking bail for his client so he could attend parliamentary sessions.

If Yali does not win his appeal before the Supreme Court, his election will be declared invalid and a by-election will have to be held.