Vaki’s lawyers ask for non-prison sentence

Sentence submissions on the appropriate penalties to be imposed on convicted former Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki were done yesterday.

Vaki was found guilty by Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia last Thursday (June 18) for contempt of court after he willingly failed to execute a warrant of arrest against Prime Minister Peter O’Neill last year.

He was found guilty on all four counts of contempt.

His lawyer Greg Sheppard  asked the court for a fine or suspension of time be given so his client can serve a non-custodial sentence.

His reason for this was because Vaki’s actions then were based on legal advise he received at the time he was sworn into office after the warrant of arrest was issued.

Sheppard said the case was a complex one that had other court proceedings before the court then.

Among those other court proceedings was when the Supreme Court then had to determine whether the warrant was an order from the court.

This was later verified to be from the District Court.

Mathew Damaru and Timothy Gitua’s lawyer Greg Egan from Jema lawyers submitted before the Chief Justice that a jail term of five years should be given to Vaki.

Egan said this was because Vaki knew well of the orders for the warrant of arrest even before taking office.

The matter returns to court next week Friday July 3 for Vaki’s penalty.

His bail on his own recognizance in the meantime is being further extended.