NEWS

Defence Seeks Identity of Complainant

A defence lawyer for former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka sought the identity of a complainant to be revealed under the seal before the trial proper starts. His trial starts on
02 Oct 2018 12:15
Defence Seeks Identity of Complainant
Sitiveni Rabuka (right) with his lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo outside Suva Magistrates Court on Oct 1 2018 PHOTO: Ashna Kumar

A defence lawyer for former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka sought the identity of a complainant to be revealed under the seal before the trial proper starts.

His trial starts on the October 15 before Magistrate Jioji Boseiwaqa.

Rabuka appeared before Magistrate Boseiwaqa yesterday where Mr Vosarogo sought certain orders in relation to the case, particularly the identity of the complainant.

Mr Vosarogo made two requests over the identity of the complainant, who had alleged Rabuka breached his bail condition.

The Suva lawyer asked that the identity of the complainant be released and that the report generated out of the matter be disclosed to the defence.

Mr Vosarogo said if Rabuka were to be tried under the Financial Transaction  Reporting Act of 2004 the court would be obliged to order the release of the complainant’s identity.

Mr Vosarogo said if an application was made under the FTRA the judge in the matter may rule for the identity to be revealed in the interests of justice.

He said it was clear that the FTRA did not anticipate the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and disclosures) Act of 2013, under which Rabuka is charged.

Mr Vosarogo said the information was necessary before Rabuka’s trial could proceed.

Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption senior lawyer Rashmi Aslam said that he may release the identity of the witness, provided the identity was under Court seal and remained between the two parties only.

The charges:

Rabuka is charged with one count of providing false declaration of assets, income and liabilities under the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and disclosures) Act of 2013.

In 2017, Rabuka is alleged to have provided a false declaration of assets and liabilities to the Supervisor of Elections by failing to provide information pertaining to the tax liability with the Fiji Revenue and Customs Services (FRCS), which amounted to $316,956.20.

He also failed to declare the investment and interest income with Raghwan Construction Limited in the amount of $200,000 and $16,000 respectively and the liability in the amount of $120,000.

On the second charge, Rabuka is charged with one count of breach of bail conditions. It is alleged to have approached and interfered with a witness connected with his first charge, which was a condition imposed by the court while initially granting him bail.

Rabuka’s bail was extended and the matter was adjourned for mention on October 8 before Magistrate Boseiwaqa.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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