The Supreme Court of Vanuatu has delivered a verdict finding Parmod Achary, an Indo-Fijian and the General Manager (GM) of the Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF), guilty of multiple instances of harassment against female VNPF staff members.
The harassment took place on numerous occasions between 2020 and 2021.
Justice Viran Molisa Trief, presiding over the case at Dumbea hall in Port Vila, established the conviction beyond reasonable doubt yesterday, June 16 2023.
Mr. Achary was specifically charged with five counts of Act of Indecency without Consent, as per section 98(a)(i) of the Vanuatu Penal Code (Amendment) Act No. 25 of 2006, and five counts of breach of Leadership Code Act, as per section 5(f) of the Vanuatu Leadership Code Act [CAP 240].
During the trial, the court determined that the evidence presented by the GM and the other defense witnesses was not reliable or credible.
Justice Trief emphasised that these testimonies did not assist in establishing the truth of the matter, although she acknowledged that some portions were truthful and accurate.
The GM made several denials in response to the charges, but there were no independent defense witnesses to corroborate his claims.
The Supreme Court Judge stated that she did not believe some of Mr. Achary’s own evidence and found inconsistencies in certain testimonies. In contrast, she accepted the credibility and accuracy of the evidence presented by all ten prosecution witnesses in relation to the ten criminal charges.
These witnesses’ testimonies remained consistent and unchanged during cross-examination.
The VNPF GM is currently out on bail and is scheduled to appear in court on August 2, 2023 for sentencing.
The court advised him to cooperate with Correctional Services officers who will contact him for a presentence report.
SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST