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Radrodro Will Give Evidence In Defence

Radrodro’s lawyer Simione Valenitabua had filed a No Case to Answer Application pursuant to Section 231 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act Code 2009 that there was no case to answer for the accused as there was no sufficient evidence presented by the prosecution that the accused committed the two offences.
09 Aug 2022 16:33
Radrodro Will Give Evidence In Defence
SODELPA Member of Parliament Salote Radrodro outside the Anti-Corruption High Court in Suva on August 8, 2022. Photo: Ashna Kumar

The Anti-Corruption High Court has ruled that SODELPA Member of Parliament, Salote Radrodro has a case to answer. Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption (FICAC) charged Radrodro with one count of giving false information to a public servant and one count of obtaining financial advantage.

She is alleged to have breached the Parliamentary Remuneration Act of 2014 when she claimed travel and accommodation allowances they were not entitled to. Radrodro is alleged to have falsely stated that her permanent place of residence was in Namulomulo Village, Nabouwalu, Bua, and allegedly obtained $37,921.13 between June 2019 and April 2020.

The case is presided by Anti-Corruption High Court Judge Justice Thushara Kumarage. Radrodro’s lawyer Simione Valenitabua had filed a No Case to Answer Application pursuant to Section 231 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Act Code 2009 that there was no case to answer for the accused as there was no sufficient evidence presented by the prosecution that the accused committed the two offences.

Further, Mr Valenitabua questioned the suitability of the language used in the information to charge the accused since according to the defence, the secretary-general to Parliament was not holding a public office.

 

FICAC Commissioner Rashmi Aslam objected to the submissions of Mr Valenitabua and affirmatively submitted that evidence on each contested element of the two counts the accused was charged with was led in court.

Anti-Corruption High Court Judge Justice Dr Thushara Kumarage was convinced that the prosecution had led direct and circumstantial evidence for the court to consider in relation to every contested element of the Information filed.

He said in addressing the contention of Mr Valenitabua that the acting secretary-general to the Parliament was a public officer and not a public servant, it was perceptible that the role of the secretary general to the Parliament satisfied the Black’s Law Dictionary definition from the evidence adduced in court.

He ruled that the application of No Case to Answer was without merit and asked the defence to begin with its case. Mr Valenitabua told the court that the defence would call Radrodro as its witness and she would be the only witness for defence case. The trial will resume with defence case today.

 

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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