14 Nov 2015

Jailed Vanuatu MPs will learn fate next week

12:52 pm on 14 November 2015

The Vanuatu Appeal Court will deliver its ruling next Friday on appeals by 14 MPs jailed on bribery convictions.

The 14 MPs are appealing against their conviction and their sentence.

A panel of eight judges is presiding over the normal and final Court of Appeal session of the year.

On Friday, the prosecution reiterated evidence by its witnesses, MPs John Lum and Richard Mera, that they were given money by Moana Carcasses to change the government of Prime Minister Joe Natuman and to make Mr Carcasses prime minister.

On Thursday, John Malcolm, the lawyer for Mr Carcasses, contended the money his client had provided to the other MPs was in the form of a loan and therefore did not constitute a bribe.

The defence lawyers on Thursday also raised the credibility of the prosecution witnesses, who were granted immunity to became witnesses, but the prosecution informed the court on Friday that only three MPs were given immunity status.

It added there were other MPs who had provided evidence for the prosecution.

Marcellino Pipite

Marcellino Pipite Photo: RNZI/Hilaire Bule

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