NEWS

Namosimalua Takes Stand in Radrodro’s Trial

Ms Namosimalua said the Prime Minister first raised the concern with her in a Viber message, about some MPs living in Suva but submitting claims for their permanent residencies over 30 kilometres from Parliament, naming Radrodro as one of them.
04 Aug 2022 17:35
Namosimalua Takes Stand in Radrodro’s Trial
Former Secretary-General to Parliament Viniana Namosimalua outside High Court on April 5, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kuma

Former acting secretary general to Parliament, Viniana Namosimalua, testified against Member of Parliament, Salote Radrodro, at the Anti-Corruption High Court in Suva on Wednesday.

The SODELPA MP was charged by Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption with one count of giving false information to a public servant and one count of obtaining financial advantage.

She is alleged to have breached the Parliamentary Remuneration Act of 2014, allegedly to have falsely stated that her permanent place of residence was in Namulomulo Village, Nabouwalu, Bua, and allegedly obtained $37,921.13 between June 2019 and April 2020.

 

The trial is presided over by Anti-Corruption High Court Judge, Justice Thushara Kumarage. Ms Namosimalua said she would not have approved Radrodro’s travel claims if she knew Namulomulo Village was not her permanent residence and that Radrodro’s claims and acquittal documents were accepted based on trust in her.

Ms Namosimalua said the Prime Minister first raised the concern with her in a Viber message, about some MPs living in Suva but submitting claims for their permanent residencies over 30 kilometres from Parliament, naming Radrodro as one of them.

She had approached Radrodro about it in the chamber after a Parliament sitting. In cross-examination, defence counsel, Simione Valenitabua, asked the witness if there were any background checks to verify the information filled in the MP Declaration Form (MPDF).

 

Ms Namosimalua said there were not. Mr Valenitabua asked the witness if it was explained to the MPs that they would be liable to prosecution if they submitted false information in the MPDF.

Ms Namosimalua said there was no explanation about the criminality of what was being done. Opposition Office staff, Peniasi Devata, also known as Ben Daveta, also testified that he had filled in the claim forms for Radrodro.

He said in some instances, the MPs had signed the claim forms after it was filled in, but they had mostly signed the empty forms and the forms were filled by him after.

Mr Daveta said on instances when the MP did not provide tickets or documents of her travel, he asked for the company she travelled with and would contact the respective company to obtain travel documents.

 

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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