Decision day for Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Decision day for Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

By Vijay Narayan , Navitalai Naivalurua , Rashika Kumar
Wednesday 13/09/2023
Former Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and lawyer Devanesh Sharma

It is decision day for former Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum as Magistrate Jeremiah Savou will deliver his ruling at 11 this morning on whether he can travel to Singapore.

Sayed-Khaiyum has applied to travel to Singapore for his medical review, which has been delayed since 2022 due to work commitments.

The court heard that Sayed-Khaiyum had gone through the MID CAD procedure in relation to the heart surgery and doctors also confirmed that he had symptoms of chest pain.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions opposed the application on the grounds that he has debt in Fiji.

It was heard in court that he had two surgeries in 2021, and his doctors have written to him asking him to come within 2 to 3 weeks for checking.

Sayed-Khaiyum is 57 years old and has three children, aged 6 years, 9 years and 11 years old.

Magistrate Savou says he expected the State to address him on whether he is a risk to public safety, and this was not done.

The defence counsel says Sayed-Khaiyum has properties in Fiji which are subject to mortgage, and it doesn't mean he will run away from Fiji just because he has debt.

They say the DPP also did not put forward any valuations to show that the properties are in fact valued at a lot more than the debt owed to the bank.

They add that DPP did annex his bank records which showed he has been making regular payments toward his property debts and the DPP did not put any cogent reasons forward for objecting to bail, and the affidavit was about his debt.

The defense counsel says the DPP’s oral arguments were about why Sayed-Khaiyum can't be treated in Fiji, and they did not have a doctor take the stand to say that the medical treatment he received in Singapore can also be provided in Fiji.

The court was also told that all Sayed-Khaiyum’s medical records, doctors' notes and test results are kept in Singapore, and the doctors have written to Sayed-Khaiyum on the 2nd of this month saying he should be there within 2 to 3 weeks.

They have also been advised of his symptoms, and their view is that his health and life are at significant risk.

The defence lawyer says his travel does not impact the case because they will be working on the pre-trial conference and agreed facts in the background with the State.

Sayed-Khaiyum's charge relates to a report lodged by the Acting Supervisor of Elections, Ana Mataiciwa.

Mataiciwa had lodged the report at Totogo Police Station in February.

It is alleged that Sayed-Khaiyum between June 30th and July 12th last year, while being the Acting Prime Minister, signed a Deed of Variation and Addendum between the Government and the then Supervisor of Elections, Mohammed Saneem.

It is alleged the approval for the government to pay the taxes of Saneem was done without the proper approval of the Constitutional Offices Commission and the President.

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