NATION

Tikoca Defence Objects To New Witness Bid By Prosecution

  The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) lawyer, Rashmi Aslam, told the court yesterday that they would be calling one more witness in the trial of Ratu Isoa Tikoca.
17 Jan 2017 13:51
Tikoca Defence Objects To New Witness Bid By Prosecution
Opposition Whip Ratu Isoa Tikoca during the SODELPA interview of nominees to the position of party leader yesterday.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

 

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) lawyer, Rashmi Aslam, told the court yesterday that they would be calling one more witness in the trial of Ratu Isoa Tikoca.

Defence lawyer Kitione Vuataki objected to the prosecution’s verbal application.

Mr Vuataki said Mr Aslam was only calling the accounts officer at the High Commission in Papua New Guinea, Fonua Jioji, to verify an unsigned letter that they had introduced while cross-examining Tikoca.

Tikoca had declined to identify the unsigned letter.

The case was called before Magistrate Makereta Mua in the Suva Magistrates Court.

Charges:

FICAC charged Tikoca for failing to declare his liabilities before the 2014 general elections.

It is alleged that his failure was contrary to section 24 ( 2 ) ( a ) ( vii ) and section 24 ( 5 ) of the political parties registration, conduct, funding and disclosures decree no 4 of 2013.

Mr Vuataki continued to verify the source documents with the third defence witness, Asenaca Tikoca, the daughter of the accused.

He asked her if the figure given in the Auditor-General’s report were correct or not.

Ms Tikoca said that according to the source documents as per the actuals, the amount were incorrect.

She said: “I prepared this document and I have re-organised it to see what the difference was in the Kina currency.

“When I prepared this table, I asked the solicitors at FICAC if they could write to the Port Moresby International School to verify the amounts I used, if they were the same as their school fees.”

Magistrate Mua told both parties that she would make a ruling on whether another witness is required for prosecution – this after the prosecution ends its cross examination of Ms Tikoca today.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

Feedback:  jessica.gounder@fijisun.com.fj

 

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