Court to hear submissions by FICAC to transfer matter to High Court where 6 SODELPA MPs and a former FijiFirst MP allegedly claimed parliamentary allowances dishonestly

Court to hear submissions by FICAC to transfer matter to High Court where 6 SODELPA MPs and a former FijiFirst MP allegedly claimed parliamentary allowances dishonestly

By Rashika Kumar
Friday 22/10/2021

The Suva Magistrates Court will hear submissions by FICAC to transfer the matter to the High Court and expedite it next month in the case of the 6 SODELPA MPs and a former FijiFirst MP are charged with one count each of False Information to Public Servant and Obtaining Financial Advantage.

The commission charged SODELPA MPs Ratu Suliano Matanitobua, Salote Radrodro, Simione Rasova, Niko Nawaikula, Peceli Vosanibola and Adi Litia Qionibaravi, and former FijiFirst MP Vijendra Prakash.

FICAC lawyer, Joseph Work told the court that the submission was filed in April and the defendants have had enough time and knowledge to prepare for it.

Rasova's lawyer told the court that he opposes the motion filed by FICAC on an expedited hearing and asked what is the urgency.

Magistrate Jeremiah Savou has told the court that the submission by Rasova in relation to the issue of transferring the matter to the High Court is to be filed by the 5th of November and the matter to expedite it will be called for mention on the 19th of November.

Meanwhile Ratu Suliano, Nawaikula, Vosanibola, Radrodro and Adi Litia's lawyer, Sevuloni Valenitabua told the court they would have waited till the 19th of November for the hearing on transfer.

He said they had thought of opposing it altogether but are ready for the hearing of the submissions.

Magistrate Savou told the court that the matter will be heard on the 19th of November and this also deals with FICAC's motion for an early hearing date.

The Magistrate had also excused the SODELPA MPs from court as Parliament was in session.

Meanwhile, the court will hear submissions on transferring Vijendra Prakash's matter to the High Court and to expedite it on the 17th of November.

The six SODELPA MPs and the former FijiFirst MP allegedly claimed a combined total of $186,749.20 in parliamentary allowances that they were not entitled to.

They are alleged to have provided false information to the Acting Secretary-General to the Parliament regarding their permanent place of residence in order to have their allowance claims approved.

Ratu Suliano Matanitobua is alleged to have falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was in Namosi village, Namosi and allegedly obtained $38,378.22 between August 2019 and April 2020.

Salote Radrodro is alleged to have falsely stated that her permanent place of residence was in Namulomulo village, Nabouwalu, Bua and allegedly obtained $37,920.13 between August 2019 and April 2020.

Vijendra Prakash is alleged to have falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was in Waidracia, Vunidawa, Nabuni, Naluwai, Naitasiri and allegedly obtained $33,670.00 between August 2019 and March 2020.

Simione Rasova is alleged to have falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was in Nasenivolau, Nabouwalu village, Ono, Kadavu and allegedly obtained $21,350 between July 2019 and April 2020.

Niko Nawaikula is alleged to have falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was in Buca village, Buca Bay and allegedly obtained $20,201.35 between August 2019 and April 2020.

Peceli Vosanibola is alleged to have falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was in Navuloa village, Bureta, Ovalau, Lomaiviti and allegedly obtained $19,749.50 between August 2019 and March 2020.

Adi Litia Qionibaravi is alleged to have falsely stated that her permanent place of residence was in Ucunivanua, Verata, Tailevu and allegedly obtained $15,480 between August 2019 and April 2020.


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