LAWYER representing Mr. and Mrs. Jaime and Ethel Vokia and three others in alleged election bribery charges has been given leave to apply for a permanent stay of proceedings in the case claiming abuse of process.
Legal firm, Wilson Rano, will represent Mr. and Mrs. Vokia as well as the other three accused – Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly MPA, Rose Tala, Beason and Polycarp.
Mrs. Vokia is the MP for the North East Guadalcanal Constituency. She replaced her husband Jaime after he lost a petition questioning his victory in the 2019 national general election.
The case was heard in virtual at the Magistrates Court in Honiara yesterday. Wilson Rano has been given until 11th April to file a defence, including an application for a permanent stay of proceedings claiming abuse of process.
There was no objection from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in court yesterday
All five – Mr. and Mrs. Vokia, Guadalcanal Provincial Assembly MPA, Rose Tala, Beason and Polycarp – appeared in court initially on 21st March.
Mr. and Mrs. Vokia were charged with one count of Election Bribery, contrary to section 126(1)(a) and (b)(ii) of the Elector Act 2018. They were also charged with Conspiracy to defeat justices and interference with witness, contrary to section 116(b) of the Penal Code 9 Cap26 to be read with section 21(a) of the Penal Code (Cap26).
A date for further proceedings will be decided on the 11th of April.
By Alfred Sasako