by Tokana Hasavi Jr – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Vanuatu’s Speaker, Marcellino Pipite, has been sentenced to three years in jail following his conviction on bribery charges.
He is among 15 MP’s being sentenced in the Supreme Court in the Vanuatu capital, Port Vila today.
Pipite and others were convicted for accepting bribes amounting to 35 million Vatu or K900,000, from the Opposition, to support a vote of no confidence that toppled the former Prime Minister, Joe Natuman.
The deputy Prime Minister, Moana Carcasses, has been sentenced to four years on multiple counts to be served concurrently, and a former Prime Minister, Serge Vohor, has been sentenced to three years.
Other Members of Parliament Paul Telukluk gets 3 years, Thomas Laken 3 years , Silas Yaten 3 years , Tony Nari 3 and half years, John Amos 3 years, Arnold Prasad 3 years , Tony Wright 3 years , Sebastien Harry 3 years, Jean-Yves Chabot 3years and Jonas James 3 years.
Another MP Willy Jimmy pleaded guilty to the charges.
He has received a 20 months jail sentence suspended for two years.
Pipite pardoned himself and the other MP’s while he was acting president, two weeks ago.
But that move was overturned by the president, Baldwin Lonsdale, and ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.