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FICAC Completes Prosecution Summing On Scam Trial

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption finished presenting their closing submissions in the alleged $3.1million road scam to the assessors and the judge yesterday. Rashmi Aslam for the FICAC made
17 Jun 2015 12:09
FICAC Completes Prosecution Summing On Scam Trial

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption finished presenting their closing submissions in the alleged $3.1million road scam to the assessors and the judge yesterday.

Rashmi Aslam for the FICAC made the submission at the High Court in Suva.

Mr Aslam said defence relied on a roaming supervisor of T.F.Jan Bulldozing Company, Mukhtar Ali, who could not even tell the court when he actually started working for the bulldozing company let alone tell who all worked at Bukuya crushing site.

He submitted that Mr Ali did not dispute that the best person to know about work done on and around Bukuya would be Mukesh Chand.

He said Mr Chand, through his evidence, informed the court that work was not done in Nadrugu road for which claims were made in 2012.

He said the defence expert report was a bias report and that the expert turned a blind eye on charges and particulars of the offence.

Mr Aslam submitted that when FICAC’s financial investigator Frank Tora gave evidence, he pointed out the loophole in the expert report where two major payments were not counted for.

 

Summary on second accused

He said second accused Iliesa Turagacati being a project accountant allegedly received a bribe of $110,000 and caused a loss of $3.1million to the then Department of National Roads.

Mr Aslam submitted that as a project accountant, he should have checked his previous records to see if payments were done or not on the 14 payment vouchers, which have been the course of this trial.

 

Summaries on third and fourth

accused

On allegations against the third accused Navitalai Tamanitoakula, Mr Aslam submitted that Tamanitoakula, senior accounts officer of FRA, was alleged to have abused the authority of his office, and did an arbitrary act in processing payments amounting to $2.468 million to Bulldozing Company without following proper procedures.

Mr Aslam submitted that being a senior accounts officer, it was his task to check before processing payments if all documents were in order and if the calculations in the statements submitted by bulldozing company tallied.

He said out of the 14 payment vouchers subject to this trial, 10 payment vouchers were approved for processing by Tamanitoakula.

Mr Aslam submitted that when Marica Cagimaicama gave evidence, she said she informed Tamanitoakula via email that there were some discrepancies in the 2010 payments made to T.F.Jan in 2012.

For the fourth accused Aisea Liwaiono, Mr Aslam submitted that the accused was in T.F.Jan bulldozing company in 2012 signing 2010 documents without verification stamp.

He said the accused knew there was verification needed but he allegedly dishonestly caused a risk of loss to FRA by falsely verifying the statement of invoice dated December 31, 2010 amounting to $95,773.52 and supporting documents for Bulldozing Company allegedly knowing that there was a substantial risk of loss to FRA.

 

Filimone Vosarogo for third accused

Mr Vosarogo, for Tamanitoakula, submitted in court that because his client did not give evidence, it does not prove that he is guilty.

He said the defendant had a right to either give evidence or remain silent and he chose the latter.

Mr Vosarogo submitted that FICAC failed to prove that his client allegedly dishonestly caused a loss and that he knew of the said loss.

Feeback: farisha.ahmed@fijisun.com.fj

 


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