Vanuatu Supreme Court Clears MSG, Amena Yauvoli
The Supreme Court of the Republic of Vanuatu yesterday cleared Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and its director general Amena Yauvoli of any wrongdoing.
The MSG issued a statement about the ruling which followed a campaign against the MSG and Mr Yauvoli by a former deputy director general from Vanuatu.
Ambassador Yauvoli said the judgement was a landmark one.
“This judgement is important not only for the MSG but also for other organisations and missions based in Port Vila, in particular on how the Diplomatic Immunities are to be applied in Vanuatu,” the statement said.
The background about the case was outlined in the statement,
“In February, Molean Kilepak, the former Deputy Director General lodged a legal action against the MSG and the Director General. The case was highly publicised in Vanuatu and the region, a calculated move that was perceived to politize the issue and rubbish the good name and reputation of the Organisation and the Director General.
“Ambassador Yauvoli was appointed as the Director General in 2016 and inherited the Secretariat with serious financial problems.
“Mr Yauvoli took over from Peter Forau of Solomon Islands who resigned in December 2015 and instantly embarked on the task to restructure the Secretariat to improve its financial status, delivery of services to members and to ensure the Secretariat remain relevant to the needs of the MSG region.
“In June 2016 the MSG Governing Body approved the proposal to review the organogram and improvement of the work processes of the Secretariat and reprioritisation of work program.
“In 14 November 2016 the independent consultant Filipe Tuisawau was recruited through a competitive recruitment process to undertake an independent review of the MSG Secretariat. On 21st December 2016 the Governing Body considered the report of the Independent consultant and approved the restructuring of the MSG Secretariat.
“Mr Kilepak then rallied a number of staff, lodged a complaint with Commissioner of Labour and later to the Supreme Court without even exhausting the Secretariat’s internal grievance process as stipulated in its Staff Regulations.
“The legal complaint was against the implementation of the restructure as approved by the Governing Body. A private lawyer Mr Collin Bright Leo was engaged to represent the MSG and DG, assisted by the Secretariat’s in-house legal counsel Mr Ilan Kiloe.
“In the turnout of events yesterday, the Supreme Court issued a judgment and cleared MSG and the Director General Yauvoli from any wrong doing,” the statement said.
Edited by Ranoba Baoa