4 Sep 2015

Vanuatu's Public Prosecutor confirms indemnity bid

7:30 am on 4 September 2015
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Photo: 123RF

Vanuatu's Public Prosecutor has confirmed that it's refused a request for indemnity from lawyers of some MPs facing bribery charges.

16 MPs have been indicted over alleged bribery for breaches of both the Leadership Code and the Penal Code.

The MPs charged with bribery are mostly in government.

One of them, Finance Minister Willie Jimmy, yesterday pleaded guilty.

The Public Prosecutor's office says counsels representing some of the accused approached it recently seeking indemnity from prosecution under the Public Prosecutor Act.

After consideration in accordance with accepted procedures, no indemnity was granted to any of them.

The Supreme Court trial has been adjourned to next week

Meanwhile, the parliamentary opposition is preparing a motion of no-confidence against prime minister Sato Kilman.

The opposition says that involvement of state ministers in the bribery case could tarnish the reputation of Vanuatu.

The bribery charges relate to attempts to gain support for a motion of no-confidence against the previous prime minister Joe Natuman last year.