Port Vila Security Tight Ahead Of Vanuatu Bribery Verdict

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Vanuatu Mobile Force deployed over concerns of unrest

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 9, 2015) – Vanuatu police have tightened security at the court house and in Port Vila streets this morning while awaiting the judgement in a bribery case involving 15 members of parliament.

The supreme court is due to give its verdict this afternoon.

[PIR editor’s note: RNZI reported that ‘Vanuatu's Chief Justice, Daniel Fatiaki, has ruled that a preliminary report by the ombudsman on alleged bribery involving 15 members of parliament is null and void. ... Justice Fatiaki says the office of the ombudsman failed to get the comments of the 15 MPs, therefore its report on the case cannot be used as evidence.’]

Members of the para-military Vanuatu Mobile Force have also been deployed in Port Vila amid concern at possible unrest.

Some schools have closed today and sent their students home for security reasons.

The court case centres on money given by a former opposition leader Moana Carcasses to the MPs.

Mr Carcasses has admitted to offering loans to MPs from his own funds, but denies they were bribes to lure support for changing government.

Police sources say officers have today been deployed amid rumours that there is a risk of a riot.

They also say police have assessed the situation in the past few days and assure people in Port Vila that they will be no problem.

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