Crime & Court | Politics

FICAC To Apply For MPs’ Case To Be Transferred To High Court

They are facing charges of allegedly obtaining $186,749.20 which they were not entitled to.
26 Jan 2021 09:17
FICAC To Apply For MPs’ Case To Be Transferred To High Court
SODELPA MPs Adi Litia Qionibaravi (in blue) and Salote Salote Radrodro (right) outside the Suva Courthouse on January 25, 2021. Photo: Ashna Kumar

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) will be making applications seeking the case of six SODELPA parliamentarians and a former FijiFirst Member of Parliament to be transferred to the High Court.

They are facing charges of allegedly obtaining $186,749.20 which they were not entitled to.

Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili ordered FICAC lawyers Josanne Pene and Adrian Sharma to file and serve the necessary applications before the Court could decide on the matter being transferred to the High Court.

FICAC charged SODELPA MPs, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Salote Radrodro, Simione Rasova, Nikolau Nawaikula, Peceli Vosanibola, Adi Litia Qionibaravi and former FijiFirst MP Vijendra Prakash with one count each of giving false information to a public servant and obtaining financial advantage.

They are alleged to have obtained financial advantages in breach of the Parliamentary Remunerations Act of 2014.

They are also alleged to have provided false information to the Acting Secretary General to the then Parliament of Fiji, Viniana Namosimalua, regarding their permanent place of residence in order to have their allowance claims approved.

The seven accused persons are further alleged to have obtained financial advantages in varying amounts through these false claims for allowances from July 2019 to April 2020, they were not entitled to receive.

Matanitobua, Radrodro, Rasova, Nawaikula, Vosanibola and Qionibaravi have entered a not guilty plea to their respective charges.

Prakash’s lawyer, Avinesh Reddy sought time of a month to advise his client for the plea to take as he wished to go through the disclosures with his client.

Accordingly, the Chief Magistrate deferred Prakash’s plea.

Ms Pene and Mr Sharma have told the court that there were no admissions in the caution interview statements of the accused persons.

The matter has been adjourned for mention to check on the case transfer application on February 9.

The Chief Magistrate has excused the presence of the MPs and Prakash on the next date.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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