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Supreme Court Dismisses Dakuidreketi’s Appeal Application

Supreme Court Dismisses Dakuidreketi’s Appeal Application
Former Native Land Trust Board director Keni Dakuidreketi outside the Supreme Court of Fiji on April 26, 2018. Photo: Fonua Talei
April 27
11:00 2018

The judge was of the view that the Court of Appeal had dealt with the question of the sentence very comprehensively and that there was no misapplication of principles of law.

The Supreme Court of Fiji yes­terday refused former Native Land Trust Board (NLTB) Di­rector Keni Dakuidreketi’s applica­tion for leave to appeal sentence and conviction.

Dakuidreketi was represented by defence lawyer Wylie Clarke while Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) lawyer, Francis Puleiwai, appeared for the respondent.

Dakuidreketi was convicted of five counts of abuse of office. Mr Clarke had submitted three grounds of ap­peal namely public service, inten­tion and excessive sentence.

Justice Saleem Marsoof said Daku­idreketi’s lawyer had argued that Dakuidreketi did not hold a public office and the relevant intention were not established.

He said all three grounds did not satisfy the requirements of Section 7(2) “Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court with respect to special leave to appeal” of the Supreme Court Act.

The section states in relation to a criminal matter, the Supreme Court must not grant special leave to ap­peal unless, (a) a question of gen­eral legal importance is involved; (b) a substantial question of princi­ple affecting the administration of criminal justice is involved; or (c) substantial and grave injustice may otherwise occur.

On the first ground of public ser­vice, Justice Marsoof said the au­thorities had suggested that it was the level of public trust involved and the nature of the duties that were relevant, rather than the manner or nature of the appointment.

He further stated that on the ground of intent, while being part of the Boards for PacificConnex Limited (PCX) and Vanua Develop­ment Corporation Limited (VDCL), Dakuidreketi was well aware and possessed the “requisite knowledge of the negative financial status of PCX”.

However, he failed to share the in­formation with NLTB or VDCL to prevent the losses incurred.

Justice Marsoof was of the view that the Court of Appeal had dealt with the question of the sentence very comprehensively and that there was no misapplication of prin­ciples of law.

He said the trial judge had not fall­en into error. Accordingly, Dakuid­reketi’s application was refused and dismissed and the Court of Appeal decision was affirmed.

Dakuidreketi is serving his six years prison sentence with a non-parole period of five years, which was delivered in the High Court on August 15, 2014.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

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