Judg­ment on MPs sets prece­dent

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Port Vila: A Me­lane­sian gov­er­nance ex­pert says a rul­ing that 11 for­mer Van­u­atu MPs are guilty of con­spir­ing to de­feat the course of jus­tice sets a sig­nif­i­cant prece­dent. The MPs are cur­rently serv­ing jail terms af­ter last year be­ing found guilty of bribery for re­ceiv­ing money to cross the floor of par­lia­ment and change the govern­ment. The con­spir­acy charge arose af­ter the then speaker Mar­cellino Pip­ite par­doned him­self and his col­leagues of the bribery con­vic­tions. Aus­tralian Na­tional Uni­ver­sity Pol­icy Fel­low James Bat­ley said the lat­est judge­ment by the Supreme Court re­in­forces the ear­lier con­vic­tions.

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