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MP Singh Appears As Witness In FICAC Case

MP Singh Appears As Witness In FICAC Case
Government MP Balmindra Singh outside court on June 27, 2017.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.
June 28
18:28 2017

Government MP, Balmindar Singh appeared at the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday as a prosecution witness in a FICAC case against one Vishal Chand. He appeared before Magistrate Joji Boseiwaqa.

On Monday a bench warrant for his arrest was issued after he failed to turn up. It was cancelled yesterday.

Chand was charged by FICAC for one count of official bribery where it was alleged that he had given $30 to a tallyman of the then PWD to deliver a truckload of sand to his residence. The tallyman had pleaded guilty to the offence and was bound over.

In examination chief, FICAC lawyer, Joseph Work asked Mr Singh where he worked during the time of the incident. In response, he said that in 2010 he was employed by FICAC as a financial investigation officer and resided at their family house in Nakasi at the time. Mr Singh added that on December 11, 2010, he noticed a truck unloading soil at his neighbour’s house in Nakasi.

He then approached the truck driver,  suspecting that the truck was contracted by the then PWD. The truck driver and tallyman told Mr Singh that they were directed to unload soil at that particular place.

He said he was suspicious because he knew how PWD at that time functioned because he worked for them from 2007 to 2009.

The court also heard that Mr Singh had a cordial relationship with his neighbour who was the accused. Mr Singh then contacted FICAC officials and the accused was taken in for further questioning.

Defence lawyer, Lusia Lagilevu in cross examination asked Mr Singh the distance of his house from the neighbour. He replied it was around 5-10 metres.

Mr Singh said as a FICAC officer at that time it was his duty to serve the interest of this nation which was reporting suspicious transactions.

The trial continues today.

Feedback: arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

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