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Staff Sergeant Faces 32 Counts Of Obtaining Financial Advantage

Staff Sergeant Faces  32 Counts Of Obtaining Financial Advantage
Staff Surgent Iowane Naivalurua outside the General Court Martial at the Queen Elizabeth Barrack on August 29,2018.Photo:Fonua Talei.
August 30
10:46 2018

The General Court Martial of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces will hear the case against one of its staff sergeants, who is charged with obtaining financial advantage by deception.

Staff Sergeant Iowane Naivalurua Tulele, yesterday appeared before the president of the Court Martial, Commander Netani Sukanaivalu, Judge Advocate Lieutenant-Colonel Jiten Singh, and panel members Lieutenant-Commander Enele    Ma’afu, Lieutenant-Commander Jeke Vakararawa, Major Valu Raumakita and Lieutenant-Colonel Jone Tavainavesi.

He pleaded not guilty to 32 counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception and is represented by private lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo.

It is alleged that between October 8, 2015 and February 11, 2016 at Berkley Crescent in Suva by a deception of making deductions from 32 RFMF personnel the accused dishonestly obtained a financial advantage of $58,230 from the RFMF.

Initially the accused was charged with 38 counts, however after discussions six of those charges were withdrawn by RFMF prosecutor Captain Aisea Paka.

Defence lawyer Mr Vosarogo said the current charges against his client did not reflect the criminality that was reflected in the disclosures.

He had suggested an alternative charge with a lower penalty to be considered by the prosecution.

Mr Vosarogo said his concerns were related to case management issues.

Captain Paka responded saying the prosecution’s stance would remain the same and would not change, however, Mr Vosarogo could make representations to the Director Army Legal Services which would be considered by them.

The case has been adjourned to September 25, 2018 to sort out the agreed facts before the week-long trial commences in December.

Edited by Percy Kean



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