4 Nov 2016

Jailed Vanuatu MPs must wait for judgement

9:08 am on 4 November 2016

Fourteen jailed former Vanuatu MPs have been told they have to continue to wait for the Supreme Court judgement on their constitutional application.

A police van arrives at Vanuatu's correctional facility carrying the arrested MPs.

A police van arrives at Vanuatu's correctional facility carrying the arrested MPs in 2015. Photo: RNZI / Hilaire Bule

The former MPs, jailed last year for taking bribes to cross the floor, had sought to have the convictions overturned by claiming parliamentary immunity.

Pacnews reports a decision from the court was expected on Wednesday, but the Judge, James Geoghegan, told a packed court room that the judgement is reserved and will be released at some stage in the future.

The MPs had claimed that under the constitution, their rights as MPs were breached when they were prosecuted because there was an upcoming session of parliament, which granted them immunity.

In September most of the former MPs had extra time added to their sentences after they were found guilty of conspiracy for the then-speaker of parliament Marcellino Pipite's decision to pardon himself and the MPs.

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