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FICAC Grills Radrodro In Cross

Radrodro said she could not maintain Tacirua as her permanent address and continue with her Constituency work adding that for the Constituency work, she had to be physically present with the people but that Tacirua also was convenient for all her other work.
11 Aug 2022 16:15
FICAC Grills Radrodro In Cross
Salote Radrodro. Photo: Ronald Kumar

On June 29, 2019, the Tacirua Heights residence was also my permanent address. This was testified by SODELPA Member of Parliament, Salote Radrodro, during her cross-examination at the Anti-Corruption High Court in Suva before Judge, Justice Dr Thushara Kumarage.

She was questioned by Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) Commissioner, Rashmi Aslam asked Radrodro what her Immigration arrival card address was, which was filled in by her.

Radrodro said as per her immigration records, she had filled in Tacirua Heights. However, the court heard that on June 9, 2019, Radrodro submitted a letter to the Parliament secretary general advising that as of that very day, her permanent residence address was Namulomulo Village in Nabouwalu, Bua.

 

Mr Aslam then went on to ask her what her permanent address was by June 29, 2019. Radrodro said it could have been both addresses.

Mr Aslam then put to the accused that if Tacirua was her permanent address, she was not entitled to claim any allowances and reimbursements by the Parliament.

Radrodro disagreed claiming that she stayed in Tacirua when executing Parliamentary work, returning to, or leaving Fiji before moving on to Namulomulo which was where she stayed when she was fulfilling her work as an MP to her Constituency.

Mr Aslam then asked the accused in terms of her reality and truth, if her permanent address was Namulomulo Village as per her letter to the Parliament secretary-general to which Radrodro agreed claiming that it was for a different purpose altogether yet still held Tacirua Heights also as her permanent address as per immigration records.

 

Mr Aslam then put to the accused that the information she provided to Parliament and that on the Immigration card differed, to which Radrodro claimed that the situations in which they were provided were different.

Radrodro added that she also did not know how serious the Immigration arrival form was. The court heard that Radrodro renewed her passport in October 2019 and had provided her details, still having Tacirua Heights as a permanent address.

Mr Aslam questioned the accused on this as, by October 2019, she had started claiming money from Parliament on the basis that her permanent residence was Namulomulo to which Radrodro said yes.

She added that she had the opportunity to change her address with the immigration Department, but she chose not to because she wanted to maintain her Tacirua home as her permanent address.

Mr Aslam then asked the accused why she could not maintain the same stance with Parliament and save public money.

 

Radrodro said in Parliament, that it was because of the work that they did as an MP and it allowed her to take her Constituency work anywhere.

She said that until she sold or moved out of her Tacirua home entirely, then she would change her address with the other statutory bodies and agencies.

Radrodro said she could not maintain Tacirua as her permanent address and continue with her Constituency work adding that for the Constituency work, she had to be physically present with the people but that Tacirua also was convenient for all her other work.

Mr Aslam also asked the accused whether she had notified the Supervisor of Elections within three months as per the Electoral Act of changing her permanent residence to which she admitted that she did not.

 

Mr Aslam put to her that by not adhering to the Electoral Act, she breached the Law, yet Radrodro believes that it did not apply to her in that context. Mr Aslam reminded her that it was her responsibility to adhere to the law as she had taken an oath to do.

Mr Aslam put to the accused that the information she provided to Parliament was done on the basis to start claiming allowances which Radrodro claimed was not correct before being told that her and shamed, convicted lawyer, Niko Nawaikula, discussed the change in addresses during May 2019.

Another claim that Radrodro denied in court. Mr Aslam asked the accused if her intention was nothing but to illegitimately claim allowances from Parliament to which Radrodro said that she moved to Namulomulo to be with her family and do her Constituency work.

 

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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