NEWS

Lawyer: Rabuka Will Not Give Evidence

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka has decided not to give evidence in the case brought against him by the Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption. This was conveyed to the court by
17 Oct 2018 14:56
Lawyer: Rabuka Will Not Give Evidence
SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka with his lawyer Ian Lloyd QC outside court on October 16, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka has decided not to give evidence in the case brought against him by the Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption.

This was conveyed to the court by his lawyer Queens Counsel Ian Lloyd yesterday.

The charge:

On the first charge, Rabuka is charged with one count of pro-viding 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 Raghwan Construction Limited in the amount of $200,000 and $16,000 respectively and 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, thereby breaching a condition imposed by the court while grant¬ing him bail.

Rabuka appeared before Suva Magistrate Jioji Boseiwaqa yesterday. He is represented by Mr Lloyd QC, lawyers Filimoni Vosarogo and Lynda Tabuya.

FICAC is represented by lawyer Rashmi Aslam and Sam Savumiramira.

Prosecution rests case:

FICAC closed its case after presenting two witnesses, 18 exhibits and four statements.

FICAC’s first witness was Alifereti Wakanivesi, the investigating officer who conducted Rabuka’s caution interview and investigation.

This caution interview video was played in court and showed Rabuka agreeing to his failure to declare this transaction of funds.

He claimed that it was an oversight on his part as he prepared his own declaration and took no assistance from any professional.

Rabuka also said he made this declaration with the tax department while lodging his returns.

The second FICAC witness to take stand was Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem.

He confirmed that SODELPA was a registered party for the 2018 General Election with 51 candidates.

During the cross examination, Mr Lloyd questioned Mr Saneem whether he had the power to interpret and determine the law to which he responded it was his role to know the law.

Defence case:

Mr Saneem was asked to provide written proof whether SODELPA was a registered party and said he would do so.

The Supervisor of Elections said Rabuka made the declaration as the leader of SODELPA.

Mr Lloyd QC said the defence would not call any witnesses.

Oral closing submissions will be delivered today by both parties.

FICAC will submit a written outline of the submissions to defence by 9am.

The matter was adjourned to 11am today.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback:  ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper