Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 12 November – 2

The convicted in the bribery case seem unlikely to win anything as a result of their appeal before the courts. Nothing new was established by the time this reporter took the afternoon break and did not return.

Appellants’ appeal counsel started the afternoon by suggesting the names of the persons offering bribery needed to be established to make it bribery.

It was alleged MP Tesei, who never asked for money, only signed a blank piece of paper – the inference being "how could that be bribery?" (The signature did end up on a motion of no confidence.)

The bench pointed out that no matter where the money comes from it remains bribery.

But this was thought by one of the appellants’ counsel to mean that the trial judge never deciding the meaning of corruption under Sn 71 of the Act.

The Chief Justice: What is the complaint against the judge? Answer: The trial judge did not make the correct inferences from the chosen facts. This went on to become the trial judge going beyond the call of duty (Nigel Morrisson alleged) in calling the payments bribes when they should have been simply payments. "The trial judge seemed satisfied of the intent of the briber," being to bribe, as if her satisfaction in her opinion was legally improper.

No matter how difficult it was to set up the original financial malfeasance, it seems to this reporter it will be harder for the incarcerated to win their appeal.