Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 17 November 2015

The big news today is the Magistrates’ Court setting 27 November at 3 pm, to hear the Public Prosecutor’s preliminary inquiry (PI) into the matters of conspiracy which gave rise to the prosecutions under the Bribery Case, putting eleven MPs into gaol. The Magistrates’ Court has had to delay its hearing of this PI because of counsel for those involved in the bribery defences having to appear before the Court of Appeal. Judgement of the bribery appeals will be heard on Friday. (Radio Vanuatu)

Another judgement to be heard on Friday is that which concerns the controversial pardons of Speaker of Parliament Pipite – pardons issued on 20 October just hours before the President’s return from overseas and declared by Supreme Court Judge Oliver Saksak to be un-constitutional. As well as the bribery appeals and pardons case, all decisions of the Appeal Court will be given on Friday. (Daily Post)

Prime Minister Kilman has rejected the Opposition’s plan for a Government of National Unity (GNU) as serving unfairly the Opposition’s interests. The Opposition has called for a counter offer which has yet to emerge. President Lonsdale has given the Government and Opposition until Sunday 22 November to reach a solution. Parliament has to meet soon. It is required to meet twice a year in ordinary session.

Newcorp Ltd has purchased Wilco Ltd, Daily Post announces today. Newcorp is a local Vanuatu company and is part of the Chinese National Building Materials Investment Ltd group. The sale follows 5 years of negotiations. The lease agreement between Wilco and the VNPF is not affected by the sale.