23 Mar 2009

Two Vanuatu MPs enter not guilty pleas in separate Supreme Court cases

9:43 pm on 23 March 2009

In Vanuatu's Supreme Court, former Justice Minister Joshua Kalsakau has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual intercourse without consent, attempted incest, and act of indecent assault.

The Efate MP has been charged over an alleged incident which took place during new year's eve celebrations at Pango Ocean Beach Resort.

He was arrested and charged soon after a formal complaint was lodged to the police by the mother of the victim.

The Daily Post newspaper reports that Mr Kalsakau will reappear before the Court on May 19.

Meanwhile, Port Vila MP Ralph Regenvanu has also appeared in the Supreme Court, facing charges in relation to a jailbreak by prisoners at the main prison facility in the capital late last year.

Mr Regenvanu pleaded not guilty to three counts of accessory after the fact, harboring or assisting a prisoner and obstructing police officers on duty.

He will reappear in Court on May 13.

Mr Regenvanu and fellow opposition MP Moana Carcasses were both charged following the December 19 jail breakout last year however Mr Carcasses was unable to attend court due to health reasons.