NATION

Magistrate Rules There’s A Case To Answer In Alleged Impersonation Charges

Suva Magistrate Deepika Prakash yesterday ruled that accused Binesh Pillay has a case to answer. Pillay is charged with one count of obtaining financial advantage by deception and false or
28 Jun 2018 11:41
Magistrate Rules There’s A Case To Answer In Alleged Impersonation Charges

Suva Magistrate Deepika Prakash yesterday ruled that accused Binesh Pillay has a case to answer.

Pillay is charged with one count of obtaining financial advantage by deception and false or misleading information.

He made an application for a No Case to Answer through his lawyer from the Legal Aid Commission Lisiate Qetaki.

He is charged by Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC).

The particulars of the offence revealed that between September 13 and September 16 in 2015 by deception Pillay allegedly pretended to be a Police Officer at Valelevu Police Station and dishonestly obtained a financial advantage of $300 from one Ragni Devi in order to assist in the release of one Bablesh Singh from the Suva Remand Centre.

On November 17, 2016, he allegedly knowingly gave Ivamere Diuku an Assistant Court Officer false or misleading information namely his residential address as 10 Matana Street to the said Ms Diuku who was performing her functions as an Assistant Court Officer under the Bail Act 2002.

FICAC called the evidence of six witnesses and submitted that it had proven the elements of the offence in that it was Pillay who called the complainant purporting to be a Police Officer.

There was circumstantial evidence that Pillay had used the same number to call his parents overseas on the day in question.

Furthermore, there was direct evidence that one of the FICAC witnesses withdrew $300 from her bank account and gave $200 to Pillay and was asked by the accused to keep $100. The witness had given her BSP bank account details to Pillay.

FICAC submitted that Pillay did not reside at 10 Matana Street which was supported by the evidence of another witness.

Ms Diuku the Assistant Court Officer confirmed the details which were provided by Pillay in his bail form.

Defence submitted that the onus was on FICAC to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt and that they had failed to establish a prima facie case against Pillay.

The defence stated that FICAC had failed to show that it was Pillay who called the complainant on that day.

They further submitted that FICAC had not adduced sufficient evidence upon which the Court could convict and that the FICAC witnesses were so unreliable that no reasonable tribunal could safely convict on the same.

After assessing the evidence Magistrate Prakash found that Pillay had a case to answer. The case has been adjourned to July 3, 2018 to fix a date for the continuation of hearing. Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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