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PM’s signed statement submitted but Vakaloloma, Padarath maintain not guilty plea

PM’s signed statement submitted but Vakaloloma, Padarath  maintain not guilty plea
Benjamin Padarath
August 09
11:04 2017


A signed statement by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was submitted as evidence yesterday, in the trial of Suva lawyer Aseri Vakaloloma and Benjamin Padarath.

Padarath and Vakaloloma, who maintained their not guilty plea to one count each of forgery, appeared before Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili. Defence lawyers are Barbara Malimali and Jolame Uludole.

Between October 14, 2009 and December 31, 2009 with intent to defraud the two are alleged to have forged a document namely the Articles of Associations for BECP Engineering Construction Fiji Limited.

The two allegedly made a false page of the Articles of Association by altering the particulars of a subscriber from Adishwar Padarath of 57 Duncan Road in Domain, Suva to Voreqe Bainimarama of 228 Ratu Sukuna Road.

Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption (FICAC) lawyer Rashmi Aslam informed the court that Mr Bainimarama’s statement was related to the first accused Vakaloloma who allegedly had witnessed and signed the forged document.

First prosecution witness Josevata Koroi who was the acting Assistant Town Planner at the Suva City Council in 2011 told the court that FICAC had approached him to enquire about house number 228 at Ratu Sukuna Road in Suva.

He said the house number was an allotted Government quarters to the Chief Justice, but at the time of his statement Mr Bainimarama was the occupant.

Defence lawyer Mr Uludole questioned the witness if he had personally verified whether Mr Bainimarama was a resident, to which he answered that it was public knowledge and he did not see the need to physically verify.

Second prosecution witness Abhay Ram who was the Registrar of Companies in 2011 revealed that Vakaloloma had witnessed the 27-page memorandum of BECP Engineering Construction Fiji Limited.

He added that it was the duty of the subscribers to provide the correct information to the registrar and failing to do so would result in fraud.

Defence lawyer Ms Malimali put to the witness that the only time that he found out about the forged document was when FICAC showed it to him, to which he agreed. The trial continues today. Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola



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