BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
MEMBER of Parliament for North East Guadalcanal Constituency Ethel Vokia, and her husband Jamie Vokia with the Member of the Provincial Assembly Rose Tala and two others will come back in court on March 28, 2022 for mention.
Their case was heard in court via zoom yesterday and there were several issues raised by lawyers regarding the case and the Chief Magistrate Emma Garo adjourned the case to March 28.
A lawyer from the Public Solicitor’s Office Rodney Manebosa told the court, that they received application from the defendants Jamie Lency Vokia, Rose Tala, Polycarp Peresini and Moses Beason, and they are yet to confirm their legal representation for the accused.
Meanwhile Ethel Vokia is represented by Rano Law firm.
Sina Kilua of Rano Law firm appearing on behalf of their office told court that disclosures have been received from prosecution regarding their client.
Ms Kilua also raises an issue on jurisdiction whether or not magistrate court can hear the matter against the defendants as they are facing charges under the Electoral Act 2018.
Magistrate Garo then said that Rano can make submission regarding the jurisdiction on the next court date.
The MP and all the four defendants are facing charges relating to the incident occurred during the 2019 National General Election (NGE) for bribery offences.
MP Vokia faces two charges one election Bribery: Contrary to Section 126 (1) (a) and (b) (ii) of the Elector act 2018 and conspiracy to defeat justices and interference with witness: Contrary to Section 116(b) of the panel code 9Cap26) to be read with section 21 (a) of the Penal Code (cap 26)
While Jamie Lency Vokia, Rose Tala, Moses Beason and Polycarp Peresini are charged with conspiracy to defeat justice and interference witness.
All accused were released on bail. MP Vokia was released on cash bail of $1000, Lency Vokia $500 while other three accused were released on principal bail of $500.
Geitaba Waletofea of the Office of the Director Public Prosecution appears on behalf of the crown.