Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 8 August 2015

Three big issues in this weekend’s reading …

The Commission of Inquiry into the tragedy of the LC-MGY has been "leaked" to both weekend papers for today’s weekend reading and will prove riveting study for everyone, from the ship’s registration particulars, as supplied, to the comments of the Vanuatu International Registry’s Robert Bohn, MP for Epi, "who has considerable expertise in marine affairs"(Independent). Buy both papers to assess the huge degree of negligence involved that resulted in the loss of 4 lives off Lelepa last November and how that negligence occurred.

The bribery case will next be in the Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, Daily Post alone reports. This case involves more than half those of Cabinet rank in the present Council of Ministers and a total of 18 Members of Parliament. Because the court room is small and many dozens of people were present yesterday, the court was cleared of all but the defendants and their legal representation, with even the press required to leave. Never-the-less, Thompson Marango of Post, listening outside the courtroom, has a comprehensive report on the defendants’ complaint that there is insufficient evidence to qualify for a Supreme Court hearing and that their case should be subject first to the Ombudsman’s procedures. Arguments were put forward to suggest the MPs do not qualify as "public figures." Acting Public Prosecutor Timakata was insistent the matters should go to the Supreme Court.

Daily Post also has Lands Minister Telukluk denying responsibility for the importation of cigarettes to the Tapusia store owned by himself and others – MP Prasad and Asian former Vanuatu diplomat Ruihua Yao.

In Daily Post today the Opposition responds to Speaker Pipite’s demand for an apology from the former Speaker, stating that Pipite’s early closing of Parliament has caused the Parliament "unnecessary time delays and extra costs in paying allowances for MPs and legal fees."

There are a number of other news items of interest to all which will be covered early next week along with matters missed in the last 2 days. Gud wiken.