Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 12 November 2015

The principal, and really only, argument put forward by one counsel for those convicted of bribery, this morning in the Appeal Court of the Supreme Court, was that all the gaoled MPs were aware of the limited financial opportunities available to their constituents – how, indeed, they wanted more money. John Malcolm wittered on for some considerable time concerning how all those dozen or more MPs taking the loans a year ago would be putting them to good use as has been done by two – Robert Bohn, in assisting the Lamenu Bay clinic, and Samson Samsen, with provision of transport to his Santo communities. Told by the bench how there is little security in loans, Malcolm re-iterated the extent of constituents’ needs. As some reporters left, lawyer John Malcolm was able to confirm that Moana Carcasses Kalosil and Sato Kilman remained allies, presumably politically.

The Digest is aware that VBTC is presently only being staffed by 3 to 5 senior staff members. The rest are on strike. Of the promised annual budget of VT 60 million, which used to be given by central government, only VT 18 million has been provided so far this year.