Friday 13 November 2015 | Published in Regional
Speaker Marcellino Pipite: 3 years.
- Foreign minister Serge Vohor: 3 years.
- Lands minister Paul Telukluk: 3 years.
- Public works minister Tony Nari: 3.5 years.
- Youth and sports minister Tony Wright: 3 years.
- Climate change minister Thomas Laken: 3 years.
- Sebastien Harry, Jonas James, John Amos, Steven Kalsakau, Silas Yatan, Arnold Prasad, Jean Yvees Chabot: 3 years.
- Finance minister Willie Jimmy: 20 months suspended following guilty plea.
“We do have some ministries that were left vacant, and the prime minister wanted to insure that services are being properly delivered to the people.”
Bohn believes the MPs jailed, including deputy prime minister Moana Carcasses, will have their sentences overturned.
The MPs are appealing against their sentences, and Bohn thinks they could be successful.
“I think the convictions will be overturned or quashed, but I think it might be sent back for retrial,” he said. “That’s just my personal belief, but you know, who knows? Let’s just watch.”
Bohn says as the new minister of justice he has no authority to interfere in the court of appeals proceedings.
“Certainly the judiciary and prosecution, public solicitor – all fall within the portfolio of the minister of justice – but we don’t really get involved with the matters at hand.”
Bohn, originally from the United States, is the member for Epi and is the only naturalised citizen ever to sit in Vanuatu’s parliament.
In 2005 he was convicted by the US on fraud charges which were resolved for “a hundred dollars for the charges laid and some court costs”, he told the ABC in 2012.
On October 9, Vanuatu’s Supreme Court found Carcasses had made illegal payments amounting to 35 million Vatu ($452,000) to his fellow MPs when they were in opposition.
Justice Mary Sey ruled that the payments were designed to influence MPs in their capacity as public officials.
Thirteen of the MPs, including former prime minister Serge Vohor, were sentenced to three-years jail on October 22.
Finance minister Willie Jimmy, the only MP to plead guilty to the corruption charges, was given a suspended sentence.
Carcasses, another former prime minister, received his four year sentence on multiple counts to be served concurrently. As the MPs have been sentenced to two years imprisonment or more, they are not permitted to sit in Vanuatu’s parliament. - PNC sources