NATION

Magistrate Grants 21 Days For Written Submissions

Magistrate Makereta Mua has granted both parties in the Tikoca trial 21 days to file written submissions after Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption counsel Rashmi Aslam applied to call another
18 Jan 2017 11:00
Magistrate Grants 21 Days For Written Submissions

Magistrate Makereta Mua has granted both parties in the Tikoca trial 21 days to file written submissions after Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption counsel Rashmi Aslam applied to call another witness.

Mr Aslam told the court that he wanted to call this witness to clarify some issues that were raised by suspended Opposition parliamentarian Isoa Tikoca.

He said that Tikoca had come up with an entirely new defence that prosecution could not have foreseen as the blame was put on his former staff.

He further stated that it was in the interest of justice that the relevant staff come to court and clarify as Tikoca had said that he directed his then staff to deduct his salary.

Defence lawyer Jolame Uludole disputed the statement “he directed his staff” and told the court that according to him he thought Tikoca used the word ‘carry on’.

He also opposed prosecutions application and said that the prosecution seem to have misunderstood the section.

Magistrate Mua told both parties to make written submissions and she will make a ruling on it.

Charges:

Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption 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.

Cross-examination of Asenaca Tikoca by FICAC

During cross examination Mr Aslam put it to Ms Tikoca that according to the table she had made which stated that Tikoca did not owe the government any money, she included Papua New Guinea school fees cost of 2006 term four of 7750 Kina (FJ$5024.08 current currency) and 2007 term 4 of 8430 Kina (FJ$5464.91 current currency) and 2008 term 3 of 10,788 Kina (FJ$7083.47 current currency).

It was stated in court that for those specific times when PNG costs were claimed as entitlement, there were $0 payments made to St Joseph’s Nudgee College in Australia.

Mr Aslam put it to Ms Tikoca that there were no actual payments done and therefore if she took the entitlement out the difference Tikoca needed to pay would increase to which she replied yes.

He further put it to her that there were no provisions to Tikoca for approval of annual school fees as every time it is calculated according to terms and therefore the analysis she made on 10 entitlements against seven actual payments were principally wrong.

Ms Tikoca said: “That is your opinion but I have looked at source documents and my conclusion remains the same.”

During re-examination by defence lawyer Kitione Vuataki Ms Tikoca, told the court that ‘you do not have to be an auditor or a forensic auditor to do this calculations’.

She said: “The calculations are derived from source documents and as long as you have form seven level knowledge of the concept you should be able to calculate as it’s a straight forward calculation.”

 The case has been adjourned to January 31, for mention.



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