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Prakash Says He Submitted Address To FEO For Convenience

Prakash said he did not declare it because he did not fully own the farm, adding that the farm was in the name of him and his brother and thought he had to declare the assets that fully belonged to him.
19 Oct 2022 09:15
Prakash Says He Submitted Address To FEO For Convenience
Former FijiFirst Member of Parliament, Vijendra Prakash outside the High Court in Suva on October 12, 2022. File Photo

Former FijiFirst Member of Parliament, Vijendra Prakash has testified that he submitted his address as Omkar Road in Narere, Nasinu to the Fijian Elections Office (FEO) for the purpose of convenience.

Prakash is charged by FICAC with one count each of 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 over by the Anti-Corruption High Court Judge Justice Dr Thushara Kumarage.

 

Prakash testified in court that he did not declare his Serea farm in his declaration of assets, liabilities and income to the FEO. FICAC Commissioner Rashmi Aslam asked Prakash why he did not declare the Serea farm to the FEO.

Prakash said he did not declare it because he did not fully own the farm, adding that the farm was in the name of him and his brother and thought he had to declare the assets that fully belonged to him.

The court also heard that Prakash had declared a rental business in which he was a 50 per cent shareholder.

 

Mr Aslam asked why he declared the rental business and not the Serea farm stating that it was double standards by Prakash.

Prakash said it was not double standards and that to his knowledge what he did was right. Mr Aslam asked Prakash if he was lying to the FEO in his declaration of assets, liabilities and income.

Prakash said he did not lie and in reality, he believed he did not gain any benefit from the rental business.

He claimed that the share was only on the paper and he did not gain any benefit from the rental business.

 

He claimed that he did not include the rental business in his income tax returns and neither he had anything to do with the operation of the business.

Mr Aslam told Prakash that he was not fully transparent to the FEO. Prakash said he was.

He also said he provided the Omkar Road, Narere in Nasinu to the FEO in his declaration of assets, liabilities and income.

He said he stated that address because of convenience purposes only while he permanently resided at the farm in Vunidawa in Naitasiri.

 

Story by: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj



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