THE SUPREME COURT has finally delivered its verdict on the Bribery Case that has gathered a lot of attention across Vanuatu and the region. 14 of the 15 defendants were found guilty by the court. TIV was among the dozens that gathered to hear the outcome of one of Vanuatu’s most important court sessions.
In her statement Judge Sey said that she accepted all the evidences provided by the witnesses, she concluded that the evidence by the witnesses were “clear, consistent”. She said “I find it credible, and I accept it”.
Judge Sey declared that she found as an establish fact that the charges under “counts 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, and 50 on the charge of corruption and bribery of officials under section (73) sub-section (1) of the Penal Code Act, that the defendants, as public officials, each of them did corruptly accept or obtain a bribe, namely VT1 million, for himself in respect of an act to be done by him in his official capacity.”
Furthmore, “I accept and find, as an established fact,” Judge Sey delivered, “that in respect of counts… (8 to 25), of the charge of corruption and bribery of official under section (73) sub-section (2) of the Penal Code Act the accused, Moana Carcasses Kalosil, as a public official, did corruptly give or bribe, namely VT 1 million” to the other defendants in the case.”
Judge Sey found and accepted, as an established fact, that a bribe was given by Moana Carcasses Kalosil to the case defendants in their official capacity as public officials. Judge Sey found that when the bribe was given it was intended to influence the other defendants in the capacity as public officials.
The court also found that Tony Nari did corruptly give John Tesei VT 500,000.
“In the result, I therefore find the charges of corruption and bribery of officials, under section (73) sub-section (1) and (2) under the Penal Code Act Cap 135, proved by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt. And the following accused persons,” namely; Moana Carcasses Kalosil, Silas Yatan, Paul Telukluk, Serge Vohor, Tony Nari, John Amos, Arnold Prasad, Steven Kalsakau, Tony Wright, Sebastien Harry, Thomas Laken, Marcelino Pipite, Jonas James and Jean Yves Chabod “are accordingly convicted as charged. That is the judgement of the court,” Judge Sey announced.
Thus a total of 15 Members of Parliament have been found guilty, including Willie Jimmy who pleaded guilty earlier during the case trials.
The defendants are scheduled to receive their sentencing on Thursday the 22nd of October. Around 500 people gathered outside waiting for the verdict, the blocked streets were packed with people, some sat on the road while others looked on over the fence into the court.