Imprisoned ex-politicians to be released this Friday — but must return to Court in four days’ time

The catalyst for political change: The 14 MPs are taken to prison following their convictions in October last year

The scene in October 15 after 14 MPs were convicted and taken to prison. Photo: TIV

The parole-granted release of ten former MPs on Friday (after the 7 April Appeal Court decision) is overshadowed by the fact that they will be back in court next week to enter their pleas in the retrial of the conspiracy case. Public Prosecutor Naiguleva says“the nature of the offence remains the same, but the particulars in the information have changed.” Setting aside the conviction, the Appeal Court earlier this month stated that the decision was thus because the trial judge in the initial trial did not consider whether all the elements of the offence were made out in relation to each individual appellant. Many of those former MPs previously found guilty may well still find themselves subject to a guilty verdict at the end of a retrial. (Daily Post)

Union leader and MP Ephraim Kalsakau has served a 30-day ultimatum from the Vanuatu National Workers’ Union (VNWU) calling for negotiations between the VBTC (Radio Vanuatu) and the Commissioner of Labour, failing which strike action would take place. Kalsakau said 75% of the staff are members of the VNWU. There is an existing collective bargaining agreement which has been agreed by both sides in the matter. (Vanuatu Nightly News and Daily Post)

Government’s Rural Road Access Policy is aiming for basic road access for 82% of the rural population by 2030. PWD Minister Jotham Napat stressed this at the policy launch recently at Lowiapen, Tanna. Australian High Commissioner Jenny Da Rin, at the launch, says the roads for development policy is also important for health and education, and promised Australia’s ongoing support. (Daily Post)

Anzac Day was commemorated at dawn yesterday at the Port Vila Cenotaph. The Australian and New Zealand High Commissioners were both present. The remembrance is important for nationals of both countries for observation of the supreme sacrifice made by servicemen of both countries.