Bainimarama and Qiliho plead not guilty
Matter stood down to 11am to allow State to produce investigating officer in court

Bainimarama and Qiliho plead not guilty

Matter stood down to 11am to allow State to produce investigating officer in court

By Vijay Narayan , Rashika Kumar
Friday 10/03/2023

Former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho have pleaded not guilty to a charge each of abuse of office.

The matter has been stood down to 11am to allow the State to produce the Investigating Officer in the case and get evidence from him to substantiate the fear of interference by Bainimarama and Qiliho.

They appeared before Magistrate Seini Puamau.

DPP lawyer, Jayneeta Prasad says there are concerns in relation to interference with witnesses as most of the witnesses are police officers.

She says their issues relate tugging on loyalties, physical and verbal interference.

Prasad also says they do not have an issue with granting bail but strict conditions must be imposed to mitigate the risk of interference including handing over travel documents, sureties, reporting requirements and curfew from 5am to 8pm.

Magistrates Puamau says if they have an affidavit evidence then these strict conditions would be considered.

While objecting to strict bail conditions, Bainimarama and Qiliho's lawyer, Devanesh Sharma says the alleged offence took place in July 2020 and the sense of urgency has passed.

He says they are not young boys so that curfews must be imposed.

Sharma says he does not see the need to have over the top bail conditions.

Magistrate Puamau says they have to substantiate with evidence the risk of interference and she cannot follow Prasad's logic.

The charges relate to a complaint laid with the police by the University of the South Pacific in July 2020 in relation to the activities of former staff members of the university.

Bainimarama and Qiliho are alleged to have arbitrarily and in abuse of the authority of their respective offices, terminated an active police investigation.

DPP has requested police to undertake further investigations into other matters arising from this case and more charges may be laid against other suspects in due course.

Present in court are Opposition MPs Parveen Bala, Premila Kumar, Jone Usamate, Ioane Naivalarua, Faiyaz Koya, Viliame Naupoto and Bainimarama and Qiliho's families.

Stay with us for developments.

fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
Flash flooding expected in Suva, Nausori, Navua, Tailevu, Naitasiri, Ra, the North and other areas
Expect flash flooding in low lying areas in Suva, Nausori, Serua to Namosi including Navua, Tailevu, Naitasiri, Ra, Beqa, Vatulele, Kadavu and nearby ...
6 hours ago
Dr Qereqeretabua and Dr Ahmed to appear on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan at 7pm tomorrow
The General Surgeon at Colonial War Memorial Hospital, Doctor Timoci Qereqeretabua and Principal Medical Officer at the National Diabetes Centre, ...
5 hours ago

Vashist Muni College students assisted by Navua couple across flooded area to sit for Year 12 exam
Despite the heavy rain and flooding in Navua this morning, a couple took the initiative and offered to transport Year 12 students of Vashist Muni ...
5 hours ago

Parts of Suva without electricity
Parts of Suva are without electricity due to a fault while no time has been given on when supply will be restored. Affected areas includes Eden ...
6 hours ago

FCCC acknowledges the Reserve Bank of Fiji on FijiClear system upgrade
The Fiji Competition and Consumer Commission has acknowledged the Reserve Bank of Fiji on the successful launch of the upgraded FijiClear ...
6 hours ago

16 and 17-year-old arrested for drug related offenses
Police operations resulted in more people arrested for drug-related offences, where a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old were arrested in Lautoka after ...
7 hours ago
PM’s motion passed to reduce overseas travel allowances for the PM, Ministers, Assistant Ministers, Leader of Opposition and MPs
Parliament has passed the Prime Minister’s motion to reduce the rates payable for overseas travelling allowances for the Prime Minister, Cabinet ...
6 days ago

CEO of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, Joel Abraham appears on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay Narayan
CEO of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, Joel Abraham appears on fijivillage Straight Talk With Vijay ...
12 days ago

HIV infections in Fiji increased 260% since 2010, making Fiji the second fastest-growing epidemic in the Asia Pacific region
Speaker of Parliament and UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for the Pacific Region, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says according to the Global AIDS Monitoring Report, Fiji is in the top 5 countries of rising new HIV infections in the Asia Pacific region amongst the 15 t
17 days ago