NEWS

Former Fiji Sugar Corporation Chief Still Being Investigated: Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama

He addressed Parliament yesterday when he was questioned by National Federation Party Leader Biman Prasad to inform Parliament whether an investigation was conducted on Mr Khan as announced by the Permanent Secretary for Sugar Yogesh Karan.
15 Feb 2019 15:42
Former Fiji Sugar Corporation Chief Still Being Investigated: Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama
Former Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Sugar Corporation Abdul Khan

 

Investigations on the former Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Sugar Corporation Abdul Khan are still ongoing, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

He addressed Parliament yesterday when he was questioned by National Federation Party Leader Biman Prasad to inform Parliament whether an investigation was conducted on Mr Khan as announced by the Permanent Secretary for Sugar Yogesh Karan.

Mr Khan was alleged to have abused his office for personal benefits while he was Executive Chairman and CEO at FSC.

In his response Mr Bainimarama said the question should have been disqualified by the Parliamentary Business Committee under Standing Orders 44 (9), (1O), (12) and (15).

The standing orders states that; (9) A question must not be asked about the character or conduct of any person except in that person’s official or public capacity,

(10) A question must not be asked that reflects on the character or conduct of any person,

(12) A question may not seek information about a matter that, in the opinion of the Speaker, is confidential,

And, (15) A question must not be asked on whether statements in the press, or statements of private individuals or private concerns, are accurate.

“Given that the business committee agreed to allow the question, I would like to inform Parliament that an investigation has commenced in relation to the former CEO of FSC,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“The investigation is still on going and it would not be prudent for me to comment further on this matter as it might compromise the investigation.”

Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya raised a point of order saying that standing order 44 (13) that Mr Bainimarama had referred to was about sub judice.

It states that, (13) A question must not refer to any matter in relation to which a judicial decision is pending or is otherwise before a court of law.

Ms Tabuya told the Speaker that the matter is not sub judice until the person is formally charged.

“A clarity that is sought in this question is where the investigation is up to?

“There has not been any charge. I seek a ruling from you as to where the sub judice applies in this instance because no charges have been laid,” Ms Tabuya said.

Attorney-General Aiyaz-Sayed Khaiyum responded to Ms Tabuya and clarified that the Prime Minister never referred to sub judice at all.

“He never said the matter is before the courts,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“The Honourable Tabuya with all due respect is completely wrong. Sub judice does not apply here. Sub judice in law means when a matter is before the courts.”

Edited by Susana Tuilau

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