21 Oct 2015

Vanuatu sentencing stay bid refused

1:40 pm on 21 October 2015

A Supreme Court judge in Vanuatu has dismissed the application of three convicted MPs to stay their sentencing for corruption, which is expected tomorrow.

Serge Vohor 2012

Serge Vohor Photo: Graham Crumb

The health minister, Serge Vohor, and two other MPs, Tony Wright and Jonas James, are among 14 MPs who were this month convicted of giving and receiving corrupt payments.

But Justice Mary Sey says she has never come across an application to stay a sentence before it has been handed down, and ordered the MPs to appear for sentencing at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.

The MPs' lawyer, Collin Leo, was ordered to submit his sentencing submissions by this afternoon.

Later this afternoon, another Supreme Court justice, Oliver Saksak, will rule on the constitutionality of the speaker, Marcellino Pipite's, decision to pardon the convicted MPs, and President Baldwin Lonsdale's subsequent decision to withdraw the pardons.

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Photo: RNZ