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Rabuka’s Trial Within Trial Starts October 15

A former Fiji Court of Ap­peal judge will represent SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka when his trial within trial for electoral charges starts on Oc­tober 15. Ian Lloyd QC, sat on
09 Oct 2018 10:14
Rabuka’s Trial Within Trial Starts October 15
SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka (right) outside Suva Magistrates Court on October 8. Photo: Ashna Kumar

A former Fiji Court of Ap­peal judge will represent SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka when his trial within trial for electoral charges starts on Oc­tober 15.

Ian Lloyd QC, sat on the Fiji Court of Appeal panel in 2008 and 2009.

The trial proper will begin after the trial within trial.

Rabuka appeared before Suva Magistrate Jioji Boseiwaqa yester­day for his pre-trial conference.

Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) law­yer Rashmi Aslam confirmed to the court that the disclosures of the identity of the complainant were served to the court and the defence as requested on October 1, under the court seal.

Rabuka’s lawyer Filimoni Vosaro­go earlier requested that the identi­ty of the complainant be disclosed to the defence along with the report generated out of the matter.

Mr Aslam reminded Mr Vosarogo that Rabuka was charged with a serious matter hence the informa­tion was being released.

He said under the law there was no need for the court to intervene with the disclosure of the material.

However, if the defence counsel sought the release of the complain­ant’s identity then the defence must deem it to be in the interest of justice under subsection 2 of the Financial Transaction Reporting Act of 2004.

Mr Vosarogo agreed with the in­formation explained by FICAC and informed the court that this would be communicated to the trial coun­sel before October 15.

Mr Aslam had also made an ap­plication to record the proceedings of the trial and serve both parties with copies, to which Mr Vosarogo made no objections to.

The FICAC lawyer also requested the court if the voir dire matter could be released during the course of the trial and not at the closure of the case for assistance in further proceedings of the trial.

The charges:

On the first charge, 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 his 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 Ragwhan Constructions Limited in the amount of $200,000 and $16,000 respectively and also his liability in the amount of $120,000.

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

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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