12 Aug 2015

Vanuatu bribery-accused MPs in court next month

8:16 pm on 12 August 2015

Eighteen Vanuatu MPs, facing allegations of bribery, are to appear in the Supreme Court on the 1st of September.

That is the decision of the Port Vila Magistrate Court today which found there is a case to answer by the 19 defendants, who also include Vanuatu offshore banker, Tom Bayer.

As well as bribery the 18 MPs will face charges of breaching the leadership code.

The correspondent says the Ombudsman has prepared a report on possible breaches of the code by the 18 MPs and that is now before the Public Prosecutor, John William Timakata.

Last year, the MPs were alleged to have received approximately $US10,000 dollars each in loans from the then leader of the opposition, Moana Carcasses, who is now the Deputy Prime Minister.

They were suspended from Parliament but successfully challenged that, claiming their suspensions were unconstitutional.

Vanuatu MP Moana Carcasses

Vanuatu MP Moana Carcasses Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs