24 Sep 2008

Jailed Solomons MP granted extra leave to appeal sentence

9:48 am on 24 September 2008

The jailed Member of Parliament for Central Guadalcanal and leader of the Parliamentary Independent Group, Peter Shanel, has been granted a 30 day extension to hold office as an MP pending the outcome of his High Court appeal.

Under the constitution, the Speaker of Parliament can allow jailed MP's to keep their parliamentary seat provided they sought the approval of the Speaker and that they have an appeal in the court challenging their jail term.

MPs who are sentenced to jail and have not appealed their conviction automatically lose their seat 30-days after being sentenced to jail.

Meanwhile, the High Court will give its verdict on Mr Shanel's appeal against his nine month jail sentence tomorrow.

Mr Shanel, who was convicted of assault and causing bodily harm in the Magistrate's court, says his jail term was excessive.