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Prime Fiji Ltd Admits Mistake, Court Hears

Prime Fiji Ltd Admits Mistake, Court Hears
August 11
10:00 2018

The company makes an application for a no case to answer

 

Prime Fiji Limited has admitted to making a mistake with the performance security bond in the amount $351,865.

At the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday, Prime Fiji Limited lawyer, Pulekeria Low, submitted in court that the company had apologised for their mistake they were continuously liaising with Westpac Banking Corporation to rectify the performance guarantee for Fiji Roads Authority (FRA), she said.

Ms Low made an application to Magistrate Deepika Prakash for a no case to answer on behalf of her client.

 

The charge

Prime Fiji is charged with two counts of forgery and using of a forged document where they are alleged to have submitted a fraudulent performance bond to FRA between April 1 to 30, 2016 for the streetlight renewal contract in the Central Division.

 

Submission

Ms Low submitted that the error was made by a junior staff who was pressed for time to submit the bond before April 28, 2016. She asked if the investigating officer had clarified whether the bond was used or accepted by FRA for FRA to enter into a contract with Prime Fiji.

“Prime Fiji had informed the parties that there was a mistake with the $351,865 bond document. It was brought to the attention of the bank, FRA and the Asian Development Bank,” Ms Low said.

She said the company director, Shane Holiday, also provided a formal explanation to the bank on May 5, 2016.

“There was no intention by Prime Fiji to use the mistaken document to be accepted as genuine. There was no intention to dishonestly induce FRA.”

While asking for the case to be closed, Ms Low stated that taken at its highest level the evidence given by the prosecution failed to satisfy the elements of forgery.

 

FICAC’s reply

Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption lawyer, Sam Savumiramira responded that Prime Fiji never contested that the fraudulent document was used.

He countered the submission by Ms Low that the junior staff was pressed for time to submit the bond by April 28, 2016 by saying that the bond was emailed to FRA three days before the deadline on April 25, 2016.

Mr Savumiramira said the Prosecution had evidence to show that even though Prime Fiji did not have enough funds in their account they still proceeded with the bond documents.

“That goes to show that they had the intention to submit the documents to fulfil pre-signing contract conditions.”

He added that the only time Prime Fiji gave an explanation was after FRA made queries to Westpac about the authenticity of the bond. He said Prime Fiji was dishonest because the document was false and it was submitted dishonestly to influence public function.

Magistrate Prakash has ordered both lawyers to file and serve written submissions by August 31, 2018. She will deliver her ruling on the no case to answer application on September 18, 2018.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback:  fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

 

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