14 Jan 2016

Vanuatu MPs to face court on conspiracy charges

4:45 pm on 14 January 2016

A judge in Vanuatu has ruled that 11 former members of parliament and a lawyer have a case to answer after they were charged with conspiracy to defeat the course of justice.

The charges stem from an incident in November when Marcellino Pipite, in his then-capacity as acting president, pardoned himself and 13 other MPs a day after they were convicted of corruption.

The president, Baldwin Lonsdale, overturned the pardons on his return to the country, and the Supreme Court later threw out the MPs' bid to have that decision dismissed.

The MPs are already serving prison sentences of between three and four years for the corruption charges.

The Supreme Court will sit on February 2 to hear the conspiracy case.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs