The complainant in the Speaker of Parliament’s alleged assault case has conveyed her intention not to testify against him.
In a letter addressed to the Public Prosecutor on August 9, 2019, the complainant asserted that she is withdrawing her case against Speaker Seoule Simeon, then Minister of Youth and Sports, claiming she was “under coercion by political cronies to report this matter”.
For that reason, she requested the office of the Public Prosecutor to discontinue the matter.
But when Daily Post spoke to Public Prosecutor Josiah Naigulevu, he said his office did not receive the said letter by the complainant.
Mr Naigulevu confirmed his office received other letters in the past but not the recent one.
A letter from the complainant earlier on July 1, 2019 conveyed the complainant’s stance not to pursue the case against Mr Simeon.
In this letter, the complainant said the case was lodged with the police early in 2017, concerning medical reports and personal items that were alleged to have been damaged by the defendant.
She stated that in 2018, Daily Post reported the case including the police confirmation that Mr Simeon is subjected to court proceedings.
But when the complainant herself checked the status of the case, she found that the case file and all her tendered evidences were missing – the police could not locate them.
Police officers made an attempt to follow up on the issue with an officer who was handling the case and was overseas at the time without success.
She was then asked to submit another complaint, which she did but without real evidences because the actual evidence went missing in police custody.
The complaint was only submitted with documentary evidences from the doctor, following an examination three months after the incident in Santo.
The complainant was then asked by the police to separate her complaints according to the dates, and she confirmed she submitted four different complaints.
She was assured that the case was completed and Mr Simeon had been cautioned.
Sometimes later, she was asked to go to the Police Station and when she went there, a female police officer told she will be cautioned over another case Mr Simeon is pursuing against her. But she was never cautioned until date.
“I was suspicious about her action and knew very well that something fishy is going on that could affect my case,” the complainant conveyed to the Public Prosecutor.
“Later I was surprised to find out only one of my cases was forwarded to your department but without sufficient evidence and the police had to re-investigate the case.
“Therefore, I am requesting your high office to withdraw the case that is currently with you.
“I want justice and this is the whole reason why I lodge a complaint to the police.
“However, since my first complaints had been destroyed together with the evidence tendered and also, since the other complaints resubmitted are missing, I fear the outcome of my case that is currently with your high office”.
Meanwhile after our front page article on Friday last week, the Office of the Speaker has confirmed the case through a statement and reiterated the complainant offered to withdraw the case.
The statement confirmed that the Office of the Speaker has also received a copy of the letter dated August 9, 2019 (the one the prosecution did not receive).
The statement also asserted that the Speaker and the complainant are now on good terms.
According to this statement, the Opposition Leader wrote a letter to Mr Simeon on September 17, the same day the case was adjourned last week, urging him to step down as Speaker.
But Mr Simeon said he will only resign when the court finds him guilty of an offence.
He said that it has been provided by the law that everyone is presumed innocent until a court establishes his guilt.
Mr Simeon has also conveyed his apology to all Members of Parliament and the people of Vanuatu for any negative impact this news might have brought to the Office of the Speaker, underlining he has taken an official oath to serve in the position and he will continue to exercise his duties until a decision is taken by the court.
The court will resume to hear this matter on October 3, 2019.