Fourteen of Vanuatu’s parliamentarians were sentenced to prison today by Justice Mary Sey of the Supreme Court in the capital, Port Vila.
The 14 MPs included Deputy Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses; Speaker, Marcellino Pipite, Minister for Finance, Willie Jimmy and former Prime Minister, Serge Vohor. All were found guilty of receiving and giving corrupt payments in 2014.
The men were convicted of bribery charges one week ago. Most of the MPs were given three-year jail terms with the presiding judge taking into consideration their ages and health.
The Speaker of Parliament, Marcellino Pipite, and the former PM were sentenced to three years in jail; Deputy PM Carcasses received the longest sentence of four years which will commence immediately.
The Minister for Finance was the only MP to have pleaded guilty to the charges and received a 20 months jail term suspended for two years.