court case

Vanuatu PM and govt MPs retain seats after winning court battle

The 19 MPs had had their seats declared vacant by the former speaker Gracia Shadrack earlier this year after staging a protest and boycotting three consecutive sitting days.

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the 19 MPs would retain their seats bringing an end to months of instability and uncertainty in Vanuatu politics.

According to the national broadcaster VBTC the ruling centred on the vagueness of the word 'absent' as used in the parliamentary standing orders.

It is unclear at this stage whether or not the ruling will be appealed.

     

R. Kelly called a 'predator' as sex abuse trial begins

The star is accused of racketeering, sexual abuse and bribery; charges which he has repeatedly denied.

Some of the allegations made against the singer - whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly - date back more than 20 years.

If he is convicted on all counts he could be sentenced to several decades in prison.

Opening statements were delivered to a jury of seven men and five women, who will decide the 54-year-old singer's fate.

Mr Kelly faces charges that he was the ringleader of a two-decade scheme where he recruited women and underage girls for sex.

Vanuatu PM appeal court denies govt appeal

In early June the speaker of parliament at that time, Gracia Shadrack, declared that 19 seats held by Loughman and other government MPs, were vacant, because the MPs had been absent from parliament for three consecutive days.

Vanuatu's Supreme Court subsequently upheld the declaration.

But the government claimed that Supreme Court Judge, Oliver Saksak, erred by dismissing their constitutional application.

The MPs had contended that only the Supreme Court itself could declare seats vacant and had not done so.

Vanuatu Parliament adjourned to Wednesday

Speaker of Parliament, Gracia Shadrack, told Members of Parliament in the Chamber that based on powers given to the Speaker under the Standing Order, he was adjourning the meeting to Wednesday .

The reason behind the adjournment was due to pending cases in Court that are related to the current political impasse that saw the Speaker announcing the seats of 19 MPs being vacant before the Supreme Court issued an Exparte Order for the MPs to return to parliament as the Court deals with their case and other issues at hand.

Vanuatu parliament to resume Friday amid political turmoil

This after a Supreme Court stay on a ruling by Speaker, Gracia Shadrack, who declared the seats of 19 government MPs, including Prime Minister Bob Loughmann, were vacant.

Shadrack took this action after the government boycotted parliament and missed three consecutive sitting days.

That decision is to be ruled on by the Supreme Court but not before Monday when lawyers from both sides are to hold a conference on the issue.

An agreement has been reached for parliament to resume on Friday.

Fiji court orders Vanuatu students to pay fines for breaching social gathering protocols

FBC News reports the students pleaded guilty to charges of failing to comply with the Public Health Protection Notice issued by the Permanent Secretary of Health.

The Court heard they had gathered for a drinking session at a house along Nailuva Road in Suva, and breached social gatherings protocol by doing that.

The students showed remorse in court for breaching the notice which is there to protect people from COVID-19.

The court heard that majority of the students are sponsored by the Vanuatu government.

Vanuatu minister not happy with photos at courthouse

The Minister of Climate Change, Bruno Leingkon, is facing charges of breaching aviation regulations.

He is alleged to have been drunk on a trip last year.

It's claimed he harassed a female pilot, causing her to return the flight to Santo soon after taking off.

Friday, after his appearance in a preliminary inquiry, Leingkon's associates told journalists they could not take his photo.

When it was pointed out this was not the case, the cabinet minister escaped by using a back door in the courthouse.

Aung San Suu Kyi appears in court to face fresh charges

The ousted leader appeared to be in "good health" and asked to see her legal team, her lawyers say.

Two new charges were announced against Ms Suu Kyi, who was arrested after the 1 February coup.

Meanwhile, protesters took to the streets again despite Sunday seeing the deadliest day yet with 18 killed.

The deaths came as the military and police ramped up their response to demonstrations across the South East Asian nation over the weekend, firing into the crowds.

Former Vanuatu PM to stand trial in November

Salwai is facing 10 counts of bribery and corruption under the Leadership Code, and a separate charge of perjury.

The former minister of agriculture and a current Luganville MP, Matai Seremaiha, the former minister of health, Jerome Ludvaune and former MP Tom Korr are also facing bribery and corruption charges.

The case was filed following complaints by the former leader of the opposition and now deputy prime minister, Ishmael Kalsakau.

Former Vanuatu PM confident of beating corruption charges

The court of Wednesday committed Mr Salwai, two former ministers and a former MP to stand trial next month.

Daniel Yawah said Wednesday's decision was not a surprise.

All were facing corruption and bribery charges while Mr Salwai had also been charged with perjury.

The charges stem from a complaint by former opposition leader and now deputy prime minister, Ishmael Kalsakau.

Kalsakau claimed that in November 2016, the defendants bribed MPs to sign an ultimately failed motion of no confidence.

But Yawah was confident they would beat the charges.