Bainimarama and Qiliho hearing in dismissal of 2 police officers case

Bainimarama and Qiliho hearing in dismissal of 2 police officers case

By fijivillage
Friday 17/05/2024
Former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho

Acting Director of Public Prosecutions John Rabuku says he wants the hearing of former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho to be held this year in the matter where they were allegedly involved in making unwarranted demands to the Acting Commissioner at the time, Rusiate Tudravu.


Bainimarama and Qiliho plead not guilty to alleged police sacking of Ratei and Naulu

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Tuesday 19/03/2024
Former PM Voreqe Bainimarama and Suspended COMPOL Sitiveni Qiliho

Former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho have pleaded not guilty to charges of unwarranted demand made by a public official and abuse of office, respectively.

Bainimarama has pleaded not guilty to one count of unwarranted demand made by a public official, while Qiliho has pleaded not guilty to two counts of abuse of office before Magistrate Jeremaia Savou this morning.

It is alleged that Bainimarama, between the 21st of May 2021 to the 18th of August 2021 in Suva, being employed as a public official, gave an unwarranted demand to Rusiate Tudravu, to terminate the employment of Sergeant Penieli Ratei and Police Constable Tomasi Naulu from the Fiji Police Force, and if he did not terminate the officers, he was to hand in his resignation.

His demand was directly related to Bainimarama’s official capacity as the Prime Minister of Fiji, and was done with the intention of influencing Tudravu, a public official, in the exercise of his official duty as the Acting Commissioner of Police.

It is alleged that Qiliho, between the 5th to the 18th of August 2021 in Suva, being employed as the Commissioner of Police, reviewed the disciplinary decision given by Rusiate Tudravu as the Acting Commissioner of Police against Sergeant Penieli Ratei and Police Constable Tomasi Naulu which was five equivalent paid working days, and contrary to this decision terminated the employment of Ratei and Naulu from the Fiji Police Force in the abuse of the authority of his office which was an arbitrary act, prejudicial to the rights of Ratei and Naulu.

The case has been adjourned to the 2nd of May at 10.15am for mention.



Bainimarama and Qiliho to appear in court today for the case of the two terminated police officers

By Vijay Narayan, Navitalai Naivalurua
Friday 17/05/2024
Former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho

Former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho will reappear in the Suva Magistrates Court later this morning.

Bainimarama and Qiliho who are currently in prison serving 1 year and 2 year sentences respectively for the USP case, will appear relating to charges where they were allegedly involved in making unwarranted demands to the Acting Commissioner at the time, Rusiate Tudravu which eventually resulted in the termination of two police officers.

Bainimarama had earlier pleaded not guilty to one count of unwarranted demand made by a public official, while Qiliho has pleaded not guilty to two counts of abuse of office before Magistrate Jeremaia Savou.

It is alleged that Bainimarama, between the 21st of May 2021 to the 18th of August 2021 in Suva, being employed as a public official, made an unwarranted demand to Rusiate Tudravu, to terminate the employment of Sergeant Penieli Ratei and Police Constable Tomasi Naulu from the Fiji Police Force, and if he did not terminate the officers, he was to hand in his resignation.

It is alleged his demand was directly related to Bainimarama’s official capacity as the Prime Minister of Fiji, and was done with the intention of influencing Tudravu, a public official, in the exercise of his official duty as the Acting Commissioner of Police.

It is alleged that Qiliho, between the 5th to the 18th of August 2021 in Suva, being employed as the Commissioner of Police, reviewed the disciplinary decision given by Rusiate Tudravu as the Acting Commissioner of Police against Sergeant Penieli Ratei and Police Constable Tomasi Naulu which was five equivalent paid working days, and contrary to this decision terminated the employment of Ratei and Naulu from the Fiji Police Force in the abuse of the authority of his office which was an arbitrary act, prejudicial to the rights of Ratei and Naulu.

Stay with us for developments.





Acting CJ to rule on Bainimarama/Qiliho’s bail pending appeal application next Thursday

By Rashika Kumar
Thursday 23/05/2024
Former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho

Acting Chief Justice Salesi Temo will deliver his ruling next Thursday in the matter where the lawyer for former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho have applied for bail pending appeal.

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Bainimarama has been sentenced to 1 year imprisonment after being found guilty of one count of attempt to pervert the course of justice in the University of the South Pacific case while Qiliho has been sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for the charge of abuse of office.

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Bainimarama and Qiliho's lawyer Devanesh Sharma argues that Bainimarama and Qiliho have a very strict chance of success on appeal, the appeal will be granted nugatory if bail was not granted, there is a clear error of law by the High Court in not allowing the appeal on the ground of the DPP's ground of appeal, the sentence of the Magistrate was not null and void, the Judge erred in law by not revising himself when he had predetermined the appeal against sentence on the 3rd of April and both Bainimarama and Qiliho filed an appeal against conviction.

Sharma cross-examined DPP’s trial lawyer for the case, Nimisha Shankar where she had provided an affidavit stating her opinion that the grounds appeal are unlikely to be successful.

When asked if she or Acting DPP late Ratu David Toganivalu had objected to the news article about CID investigations in June 2020 relating to a protest at USP, Shankar says that they did not object to it.

Sharma argues that the Brown and Dunn rule was not breached which prevents the 'ambush' of a witness by not giving him an opportunity to state his position with respect to later evidence which contradicts him on an essential matter.

DPP's lawyer Nancy Tikoisuva had objected stating that these are appeal matters and an appeal has been filed by Bainimarama and Qiliho's lawyer.

The Acting Chief Justice stated that facts in the High Court and the Magistrates Court cannot be challenged in the bail application.

In their argument, Tikoisuva states that Acting Chief Justice has made his decision finality in this case and he cannot go back and assess his own decision.

She says an appeal has been made and any matters arising now are the purview of the Appeal Court.

Tikoisuva says Justice Temo will have to assess the likelihood of success of the appeal which means he will have to go through the grounds of appeal that Sharma proposes and relook at the conviction and sentencing.

She also provided Supreme Court case laws supporting her grounds, however, Sharma pointed out that these civil cases and not applicable.

Sharma also says that Justice Temo does have jurisdiction to grant bail as he will be looking at the matters of law and the likelihood of success of based on law.

Meanwhile, Bainimarama’s doctor, Dr Joji Malani will be meeting the Fiji Corrections Service and Bainimarama to discuss his medical needs today.



Click here for stories on the Bainimarama and Qiliho case

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