Court reserves judgement against 14 former MPs

THE jailed former MPs, their families and political supporters will have to wait for a later date for the Supreme Court to hand down its judgement on Constitutional Application case.

Supreme Court Judge James Geoghegan told a packed courtroom this week that the judgement is reserved but will be given priority and be released at some stage in the near future.

Filed by the 14 former MPs, the application is being closely followed as it holds the key to a bid for hope that they could be released from jail.

The application calls for the decision of the 2015 bribery case and its subsequent cases to be quashed on the claim that the applicants’ parliamentary privileges of immunity were breached.

They testified in court that parliament was already called last year when they were informed by their lawyers to attend the preliminary inquiry at the Magistrates Court.

The parliamentary privileges of MPs are set out in Article 27 of the Constitution and concerns proceedings being started regarding a prosecution when Parliament is ‘in session’.

Counsel Ishmael Kalsakau also drew the court’s attention to Article 53 regarding how the Supreme Court should deal with applications when the Constitution is infringed.

Justice Geoghegan agreed that issues raised by the counsels for the appellants in the Constitutional matter are important.

The 14 former MPs were jailed in October last year after they were found guilty of bribery and corruption of government officials.