The Speaker of Parliament’s trial has been adjourned again to December.
The 3-day trial is now scheduled for December 4-6, 2019.
Speaker Simeon Seule was implicated in alleged assault-related charges and has denied the five criminal charges laid against him.
It was alleged that sometime in December 2016, he assaulted a woman while he was on an official tour to Santo.
The initial trial date was November 4-6, but it was adjourned as judiciary officers were engaged in a training.
Meanwhile, Clerk of Parliament, Raymond Manuake has confirmed that the Second Extraordinary Session will convene from November 25 to December 6, 2019.
This means the Speaker’s trial dates fall within the Second Extraordinary Session.
But Clerk Manuake explained that the Speaker is protected under Article 27 of the Constitution on Privileges of Members which states “1. No member of Parliament may be arrested, detained, prosecuted or proceeded against in respect of opinions given or votes cast by him in Parliament in the exercise of his office.
“2. No member may, during a session of Parliament or of one of its committees, be arrested or prosecuted for any offence, except with the authorisation of Parliament in exceptional circumstances.”
Accordingly, Mr Manuake said the Speaker will continue to chair the sitting when parliament convenes.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST