Charlot Salwai

Former Vanuatu PM Salwai appeals perjury sentence

Earlier this month Mr Salwai was given a two years and three months suspended sentence by Supreme Court judge, Andre Wiltens.

He has now submitted his appeal to Vanuatu Appeal Court.

The Appeal Court is the last avenue for Mr Salwai to maintain his seat in parliament as MP for Pentecost.

If the Court upholds the Supreme Court judgment, Mr Salwai will automatically lose his seat and there will be a by election in Pentecost constituency.

Vanuatu prosecutor's appeal against Salwai acquittal dismissed

Salwai, along with former government ministers Matai Seremaiah and Jerome Ludvaune, and a former MP, Tom Kerr, had been charged with corruption and bribery.

The charges stemmed from a 2019 complaint by the current deputy prime minister Ishmael Kalsakau, who was Opposition Leader at the time.

Ishmael claimed that Salwai bribed two of the other MPs to withdraw their signatures from a motion of no confidence against him.

In December, the Supreme Court ruled that there was no case.

Former Vanuatu PM resigns

His resignation letter to the speaker of parliament followed his conviction for perjury last week.

Salwai plans to appeal against that conviction.

In his letter, he said the decision was to uphold the integrity of parliament.

     

Former Vanuatu prime minister found guilty of perjury

The Supreme Court found Salwai had misled the court when he said the Council of Ministers had approved a decision to create parliamentary secretary positions.

The case was brought by then-opposition leader Ishmael Kalsakau in November 2019, who said the council had never approved it.

During the trial however Kalsakau, who is now Deputy Prime Minister, admitted the council had approved the posts in 2013 but only for the Office of the Prime Minister and not for other ministries as Salwai had claimed.

Former Vanuatu PM and MPs acquitted on corruption/bribery

Justice G.A. Wiltens also found the former minister of agriculture Matai Seremaiah, the former minister of health Jerome Ludvaune, and former MP for Tafea Outer Islands Tom Kerr innocent of the charges.

Justice Wiltens said Salwai was not acting in self interest, nor that of his family when he appointed Ludvaune as minister of health and Kerr as parliamentary secretary in November 2013 but for the stability of the national government.

A former Vanuatu PM testifies in Salwai trial

Charlot Salwai is facing trial on perjury, bribery and corruption charges after being accused of misinforming the country that he had government support to appoint parliamentary secretaries in 2016.

The then opposition leader and now deputy prime minister, Ishmael Toroama, had brought the complaint that led to the charges.

He was aggrieved that, in 2016, Mr Salwai managed to avoid a no confidence vote by appointing the parliamentary secretaries.

Vanuatu Court told Parl Secs first appointed 13 years ago

Mr Salwai is being tried on corruption, bribery and perjury charges.

This comes after Mr Kalsakau had made a criminal complaint, contesting Mr Salwai's assertion that his appointment of parliamentary secretaries in 2016 was approved by his cabinet.

As the first witness in the Supreme Court trial in Port Vila, on Wednesday, Mr Kalsakau repeated that claim.

On Thursday he told the court that parliamentary secretaries had, in fact, been introduced in 2007 by the Sato Kilman government, of which Mr Kalsakau was a member.

Govt ministers to take stand in trial of former Vanuatu PM

The Speaker of Parliament, Gracia Shadrak is also due to take the stand in Salwai's trial for bribery, corruption and perjury.

The prosecution indicated they will call 26 witnesses in the trial which began yesterday.

Two other former ministers are also standing trial, after a complaint by former Opposition Leader and current Deputy Prime Minister, Ishmael Kalsakau, last year.

Kalsakau himself is due to take the stand today.

     

Delay in Salwai trial in Vanuatu

The former leader is facing bribery, corruption and perjury charges.

Two other former ministers are also standing trial, after a complaint by former opposition leader and current deputy prime minister, Ishmael Kalsakau, last year.

When the Supreme Court trial began this morning the public prosecutor said last minute documents needed to be supplied to the defence lawyers.

It is understood these documents concerned new prosecution witnesses who had not been listed during the conference of the lawyers.

Motion to suspend former Vanuatu PM dismissed

Salwai and Luganville MP, Matai Seremaiah, are facing charges of corruption and bribery in a trial due to be heard by the Supreme Court later this month.

The motion, put forward by Government Whip Kenneth Natapei, claimed the charges against the pair brought into question the integrity of parliament.

Salwai is also facing a perjury charge.

However this morning, Speaker Gratien Shedrack dismissed the move, saying the two MPs had not yet been proven guilty by a Vanuatu court and at this stage they were innocent.