NEWS

Tui Namosi Will Not Take Stand To Give Evidence

Matanitobua is charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one count of giving false information to a public servant and one count of obtaining financial advantage.
08 Jun 2022 16:24
Tui Namosi Will Not Take Stand To Give Evidence
SODELPA Member of Parliament, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua outside the High Court in Suva on June 7, 2022. Photo: Ashna Kumar

The Tui Namosi, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, will not be taking the stand to give evidence in his case.

This was highlighted by SODELPA Member of Parliament’s, lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo at the Anti-Corruption High Court in Suva on Tuesday in a courtroom filled with supporters of Tui Namosi.

Matanitobua is charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one count of giving false information to a public servant and one count of obtaining financial advantage.

It is alleged that the MP breached the Parliamentary Remuneration Act of 2014 when he claimed travel and accommodation allowances he was not entitled to.

The allegations were brought by the former Parliament Secretary-General, Viniana Namosimalua.

Matanitobua is alleged to have falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was in Namosi Village, Namosi, and allegedly obtained $38,378.22 between August 2019 and April 2020.

The trial is presided by Judge Justice Thushara Kumarage at the Anti-Corruption High Court in Suva.

FICAC’s final witness, iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission principal administrative officer, Apimeleki Tola, gave evidence on Tuesday.

He testified that Matanitobua was registered to Veivatuloa in Namosi in the Vola ni Kawa Bula (VKB).

He said Matanitobua was the head of Tikina Veivatuloa in Namosi as per the VKB.

He said Matanitobua was the chief and landowner of Veivatuloa.

He also testified that Matanitobua’s land was in Mataqali Nabukebuke, Veivatuloa.

Mr Tola said Matanitobua as a person could not own a land in Namosi Village.

He also testified that Matanitobua’s forefathers had left Namosi Village and moved to Veivatuloa from the fifth generation.

He also said that the Tikina of Namosi belonged to the Vunivalu of Namosi who at this time, was Matanitobua in his capacity as Tui Namosi.

In cross-examination, Mr Tola said according to the VKB, Matanitobua was the Turaga na Tui Yavusa, Turaga na Mataqali, Turaga Tui Namosi and the Turaga na iTaukei of Namosi Province.

Mr Vosarogo questioned the witness about what Matanitobua’s recognition to the commission was.

Mr Tola said Matanitobua was the traditional leader of all Yavusa of Vanua Nabukebuke.

Mr Vosarogo asked the witness if it was Namosi and Veivatuloa.

Mr Tola said yes.

Mr Vosarogo asked the witness whether Yavusa of Nabukebuke consisted of Veivatuloa.

Mr Tola said yes.

Following the evidence of Mr Tola, FICAC closed its case presenting 16 witnesses and 68 documents tendered in court.

Defence case will begin from Monday.

Feedbackashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 



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