NATION

Rabuka Warned Amidst Bail Breach Charge

A stern warning was issued to Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader Sitiveni Rabuka by Magistrate Jioji Boseiwaqa yesterday. This is after Rabuka appeared at the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday
14 Jul 2018 10:23
Rabuka Warned Amidst Bail Breach Charge
SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka

A stern warning was issued to Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader Sitiveni Rabuka by Magistrate Jioji Boseiwaqa yesterday.

This is after Rabuka appeared at the Suva Magistrates Court yesterday afternoon charged with breaching his bail conditions.

The charge, under the Bail Act of 2002, was filed against Rabuka by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC).

It is alleged that on June 18, 2018, in Suva, without reasonable cause Rabuka breached a condition of his bail and allegedly approached and interfered with a witness connected with the case he is involved with.

FICAC alleges that in doing so Rabuka breached a condition of his bail, which was imposed earlier by the magistrates court.

Rabuka denied the charge and his bail was extended.

The State was represented by FICAC lawyers Rashmi Aslam and Sam Savumiramira while Rabuka was represented by lawyers Devanesh Sharma and Filimoni Vosarogo.

FICAC lawyer Mr Aslam told the court that the nature of the Bail Act breach was serious and could have an impact on the final outcome of the case.

He told the court that he was not sure if Rabuka understood the specifics of his bail conditions.

Mr Aslam also informed the court that Rabuka’s bail condition was clear and he been informed earlier not to interfere with the witnesses related to the case.

Defence lawyer Mr Sharma told the court that there was no admission of breaching of bail conditions as charged.

He suggested to the court to take a practical approach and grant bail with a stern warning.

Mr Sharma also informed the court that there was a final list of witnesses not finalised yet by the prosecution so it was unclear how the former PM breached the bail condition.

He informed the court that the witness himself had approached Rabuka on several occasions and a warning should be given to the witness as well.

Mr Aslam told the court that Rabuka was an educated person and asked for his rights to be read in the English language so the bail conditions were very clear.

He also informed the court that Rabuka co-operated with FICAC when he was contacted and in the light of the co-operation, Mr Aslam suggested that a stern warning would suffice.

Mr Sharma told the court that he understood the seriousness of the case and would speak with Rabuka to ensure that the issue did not arise again.

He told the court that as Rabuka’s lawyer he would ensure that the SODELPA leader would abide by the bail conditions.

Magistrate Boseiwaqa granted Rabuka bail with the same two sureties and warned him not to breach his bail conditions.

The matter was adjourned to the same day as the substantive matter on July 27 before Magistrate Boseiwaqa.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback:  ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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