Vanuatu Daily News Digest | Judgement November 20

Nothing new has emerged in the Bribery Appeals case. When one counsel took the line yesterday morning that both Police and Prosecutions investigating made them complicitous in the bribery – because they had assumed it was bribery they were investigating and not just a loan – it was amusingly observed from the Bench that no evidence would therefore ever be admitted in any bribery trial. Another submission was was that evidence submitted by MPs after or before the change of government, it wasn’t made clear which, should not have been relied on if the MP giving the evidence was seeking immunity or indemnity. The implication here was that such evidence was simply manufactured for political reasons. The various counsels picked away Thursday and Friday at the evidence before the judges of the Appeal Court bench and at Justice Mary Sey’s original judgement in the matter, which, of course, is something one must expect in an appeal hearing. The convicted did not appear. However, this reporter’s opinion is that nothing new emerged. No evidence came to light which could in any way interfere with Justice Sey’s original adjudication of the matter. There is no likelihood, in this reporter’s view, of cases being shortened (or lengthened, as so many bus drivers would wish) as there was nothing at all new emerging in the two costly days of Appeal Court hearing.

Judgement will be on November 20.