22 Dec 2015

Vanuatu court told to reject conspiracy case

8:34 pm on 22 December 2015

A court in Vanuatu has heard there is no evidence to prove conspiracy charges against 11 former members of parliament and a lawyer Wilson Aumai.

The MPs who are serving jail sentences for corruption and bribery face charges of conspiracy to defeat the course of justice along with Mr Aumai after October's controversial pardoning of their crimes which was later overturned.

The defence lawyers told the Magistrates Court the prosecution witnesses, who are former solicitors for the accused, should be dismissed because of solicitor client privilege.

The Public Prosecutor Josiah Naigulevu said he has 42 witnesses to prove the allegations.

The court is to deliver its judgment on January 8.

Eleven of the former MPs are now serving their jail terms in the Port Vila female correctional centre.

Seven of the men were transferred there two weeks ago for health reasons.

The convicted former MP and former Speaker of Parliament Marcellino Pipite.

The convicted MP and Speaker of Parliament Marcellino Pipite (centre) moved to pardon himself and the other convicted MPs but this was later overturned. Photo: Hilaire Bule

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