Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 2 September 2015 – the Bribery Case

All other news is swept aside in view of the importance of the Bribery Case which started in a packed (standing-room only) court house at Dumbea this morning.

The Bribery Case, having taken the full morning, is now adjourned until Monday morning. Some 56 charges were heard, the vast majority against MP Moana Carcasses Kalosil. Almost all charges were answered by the accused in this morning’s plea-taking as "not guilty". It seems, however, that Finance Minister Willie Jimmy Tapangararua, who was present, was not represented by Robin Tom Kapapa as accepted last week, and his chosen new counsel was not present. Almost all are accused of accepting illegal loans under the penal and leadership codes. Thomas Bayer’s charge of complicity in bribery was detailed as the procuration of half a million US dollars through offers and sales of shares in his off-shore bank, European Bank Limited, and shares in a lease title which was detailed. Documents supplied by Bayer were alleged to be sufficient to enable the European Bank to receive the money from the United States to then be transferred to an account of Moana Carcasses Kalosil to enable the large number of public officials to be bribed. Bayer’s plea was "not guilty". Many of the accused are of the rank of minister in the present government. Marcellino Pipite is Speaker of Parliament.