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Prakash Declaration Form Contained Address As Omkar, Narere, Nasinu

Prakash is alleged to have falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was in Waidracia, Vunidawa, Nabuni, Naluwai, Naitasiri, and allegedly obtained $33,670 between August 2019 and March 2020.
21 Sep 2022 10:28
Prakash Declaration Form Contained Address As Omkar, Narere, Nasinu
Former FijiFirst MP, Vijendra Prakash outside the Suva High Court on September 19, 2022. Photo: Leon Lord

Former FijiFirst Member of Parliament, Vijendra Prakash’s statutory declaration to the Registrar of Political Parties contained the address of Omkar Road in Narere, Nasinu.

This was testified in court yesterday by Fijian Elections Office (FEO) political parties engagement officer Mesake Dawai during trial yesterday.

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) charged Prakash with one count each of giving false information to a public servant and obtaining financial advantage.

 

He is alleged to have obtained financial advantages in breach of the Parliamentary Remunerations Act of 2014.

Prakash is alleged to have falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was in Waidracia, Vunidawa, Nabuni, Naluwai, Naitasiri, and allegedly obtained $33,670 between August 2019 and March 2020.

The trial is presided by the Anti-Corruption High Court Judge Justice Dr Thushara Kumarage. Mr Dawai told the court that in October 2018, the Political Parties submitted their candidates list to the FEO.

 

The candidates were required to submit the declaration of assets, liabilities and income which was a requirement by the law.

He said the form was designed by the FEO and issued to the political parties via email which was authorised by the Supervisor of Elections and Registrar of Political Parties, Mohammed Saneem.

Mr Dawai said once the forms were submitted, he would receive it and file and submit to the Registrar of Political Parties who inspected the forms before they were published in the newspapers.

 

He added that Prakash filled and declared his Declaration of Assets, Liabilities and Income form on October 19, 2018, with information as at October 1, 2018. Prakash declared his address as Omkar Road in Narere, Nasinu while contesting the 2018 General Election under the political party named FijiFirst.

He added that the FEO’s expectation when asked for residential address was to find out where the candidate resided or lived at.

Mr Dawai read out the assets, liabilities and income of both Prakash and his spouse, Kusum Lata Prakash. Mr Dawai said that following the publication of the declaration by Prakash, the members of the public were given time to file an objection to the Registrar of Political Parties.

 

He said in Prakash’s case, no objections were received. If a declarant had provided a false declaration, penalties were involved for such offence as the declarant would commit an offence under the provisions of the Act and the Law.

Another FICAC witness, a senior Immigration officer responsible for border control based in Suva, Taraivini Savou told the court that out of five of Prakash’s passenger arrival forms, only one form dated November 10, 2019 stated Waidravo in Vunidawa.

She testified that three forms dated December 2, 2018, December 12, 2019, and January 17 2019, contained the address of Omkar Road, Narere, Nasinu, while one form dated March 16, 2018 contained the address of Nasinu, Fiji.

 

Prakash’s lawyer objected to the passenger arrival card documents to be tendered as a prosecution document for exhibit as it was a screenshot printout of the passenger arrival card from the Immigration Department’s database.

However, the Judge overruled the objection stating that with the evolved technology, the court recognised the computer database evidence.

 

Story by: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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