Crime & Court

Judge Dismisses Padarath, Vakaloloma Appeal Case

Padarath was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one count of forgery and was found guilty and given a sentence of 14 months, which was suspended for two years.
11 Mar 2020 12:22
Judge Dismisses Padarath, Vakaloloma Appeal Case
Benjamin Padarath (left) on March 10, 2020. Aseri Vakaloloma (right) on March 9, 2020. Photo: Ashna Kumar

The High Court in Suva yesterday has upheld the sentence of Benjamin Padarath, which was imposed by the Chief Magistrate in 2018.

Padarath was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one count of forgery and was found guilty and given a sentence of 14 months, which was suspended for two years.

Padarath appeared before Judge Justice Riyaz Hamza for the judgment of the appeal filed by FICAC.

He was found guilty of forging the articles of association document for BECP Engineering Construction Fiji Limited by making a false page 27 of the said articles of association by altering the particulars of the subscribers from one Adishwar Padarath of 57 Duncan Road, Domain, Suva to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama of 228 Ratu Sukuna Road, Domain, Suva and placed his signature as one of the subscribers.

The incident happened between October 14 and December 31, 2009.

FICAC had appealed against Padarath’s sentence on five grounds.

Justice Hamza said although the reason provided by the Magistrate for imposing a suspended sentence may have been inadequate, he was of the opinion that the High Court should not interfere with the said sentence imposed.

Justice Hamza said the appeal was dismissed and said the sentence imposed by the Magistrates Court stood affirmed.

VAKALOLOMA

Meanwhile, on Monday, the High Court also has upheld the conviction and sentence of former lawyer Aseri Vakaloloma, which was imposed by the Chief Magistrate in 2018.

Mr Aseri Vakaloloma was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one count of forgery and was found guilty and given a sentence of 12 months, which was suspended for two years.

The judgment of appeal was delivered by Judge Justice Riyaz Hamza on Monday.

He was represented by lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo.

Vakaloloma was found guilty of forging the articles of association document for BECP Engineering Construction Fiji Limited by making a false page 27 of the said articles of association by altering the particulars of the subscribers from one Adishwar Padarath of 57 Duncan Road, Domain, Suva to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama of 228 Ratu Sukuna Road, Domain, Suva and placed his signature as the witness to the signature purported subscribers.

The court heard that in his appeal, Vakaloloma had provided five grounds against his conviction and two against the sentence on matters of fact and law and elements of the charge.

Justice Hamza was of the opinion that the grounds of appeal against the sentence were also without merit.

Justice Hamza dismissed the appeal and said the conviction and sentence stood affirmed.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedbackashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Tower Insurance
Advertise here
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper