Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 10 October 2015: the Bribery CasePosted: October 10, 2015
Once again Vanuatu’s judicial and legal systems and the separation of powers as required by the Constitution (which we were celebrating earlier this week) have proven themselves and the efficacy of the Westminster System we employ here. Fourteen Members of Parliament have been found guilty of the criminal charge of bribery and will be sentenced on 22 October.
There were 112 items in evidence and 39 witnesses. Those found guilty included many of cabinet status and are Minister Moana Carcasses Kalosil (seemingly the ring leader), Speaker of Parliament Marcellino Pipite, Minister Serge Vohor, Minister Paul Telukluk, Silas Rouard Yatan, Tony Nari, John Amos, Arnold Prasad, Steven Kalsakau, Tony Wright, Sebastien Harry, Thomas Laken, Jonas James and Jean Yves Chabot. They were convicted as charged. Huge crowds surrounded the Dumbea court house orecincts and were splendidly managed by the Police. The Correctional Services were on hand to advise concerning prisoner accommodation although sentencing will only take place on 22 October. Presumably bail conditions apply still.
The Constitutional case brought by MPs Tony Nari, John Amos, Sebastien Harry Thomas Laken, Paul Barthelemy Telukluk, Steven Kalsakau and Marcellino Pipite against the State can be read already at paclii.org on the internet. This has played a part in reducing the Bribery Case to matters and questions punishable under the Penal Code. It is hoped Justice Sey’s complete and very detailed judgement will be similarly available on-line in the very near future. Never-the-less Radio Vanuatu and Daily Post have covered yesterday’s case in some detail today. For those wanting the specifics of the judgement earliest it is recommended they purchase Daily Post early today, as supplies of the paper with the headline 14 GUILTY may well not prove adequate.
There is certainly plenty to read this weekend. Gud wiken, safe in the knowledge that Vanuatu does have a fearless, effective and responsible judiciary.