NATION | NEWS

Judge Scolds Lawyer For Laughing In Court

He is charged with one count each of false information to a public servant and obtaining financial advantage.
08 Sep 2022 19:00
Judge Scolds Lawyer For Laughing In Court
SODELPA member of Parliament, Simione Rasova, outside High Court on September 6, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

This is in the case of SODELPA Member of Parliament, Simione Rasova. Rasova’s case was called on Tuesday for the hearing on the recusal application before the Anti-Corruption High Court Judge, Justice Dr Thushara Kumarage.

Rasova was represented by lawyers Tomasi Tuitoga, Pita Suguturaga, and Barbara Malimali. Rasova is charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for allegedly and falsely stating that his permanent place of residence was in Nasenivolau, Nabouwalu village, Ono, Kadavu Island, and allegedly obtained $21,350 between July 2019 and April 2020.

 

He is charged with one count each of false information to a public servant and obtaining financial advantage.

Justice Dr Kumarage questioned Rasova’s lawyer, Tomasi Tuitoga, of why he failed to inform the court that another lawyer named Barbara Malimali was appearing in Court on instructions to file a recusal application.

On Monday, Ms Malimali informed the Court that she was filing a recusal application on the grounds of credibility and also that she was not available to take trial on Friday due to her commitments at the Fiji Court of Appeal.

 

She had also informed the Court that she would take a longer time in trial and the trial may extend to a month’s time. The Judge questioned Mr Tuitoga if Ms Malimali was from the same law firm which was on record.

Mr Tuitoga informed the Court that she was not and she had appeared on instructions, however, the Judge said the same was not relayed in Court when Ms Malimali appeared in Court on Monday.

The Judge handed out the practice direction to the counsel which stated that lawyers could not appear in Court without seeking the Court’s leave as issued by the former Chief Justice, Anthony Gates, in 2011.

 

Scolded

While trying to justify himself in Court, Mr Tuitoga laughed on a few occasions which frustrated the Judge.

Justice Dr Kumarage said to the counsel to be responsible in the Courtroom as he was a lawyer in the Court.

He said as a professional, the lawyer was laughing in court which was an insult to the legal profession.

 

Mr Tuitoga apologised and said the firm Haniff Tuitoga was on record for Rasova and wished to proceed with the trial. Justice Dr Kumarage said that was not mentioned when Ms Malimali appeared in Court on Monday.

He said to Mr Tuitoga that he was speaking as if he fell from the sky and did not know what was going on.

He further asked the counsel to speak like a lawyer in the Court and not as if he was in a fish market.

 

Feedback: ashna.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.


Subscribe-to-Newspaper