20 Nov 2015

Convicted Vanuatu MPs back in court

7:32 am on 20 November 2015

Vanuatu's Court of Appeal will today deliver its ruling on an appeal by 14 convicted MPs against a decision to revoke their self-imposed pardons.

After being convicted of bribery last month, the speaker of parliament Marcellino Pipite pardoned himself and 13 other MPs while he was acting president.

That move was overturned by the president, Baldwin Lonsdale, and ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court after the opposition sought the court's ruling.

In the Court of Appeal on Monday, a lawyer for three of the convicted MPs argued that the constitution only gives the President the power to pardon, but not to revoke the pardon.

But the attorney general's office, which is representing the President, argued that if the President has the power to pardon, he has the power to revoke and the fact Pipite pardoned himself was a conflict of interest.

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Photo: 123RF