High Court to hear the State's appeal against Bainimarama and Qiliho's sentences today

High Court to hear the State's appeal against Bainimarama and Qiliho's sentences today

By Vijay Narayan , Rashika Kumar
Wednesday 03/04/2024
Former Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Commissioner of Police, Sitiveni Qiliho

The prosecution's appeal against the sentence of the former Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Commissioner of Police, Sitiveni Qiliho will be heard in the Suva High Court today.

Bainimarama was granted absolute discharge in the University of the South Pacific case by Magistrate Seini Puamau while Qiliho has been fined $1,500 and this has to be paid within 30 days and failure to do that will result in 30 days imprisonment.

Magistrate Puamau announced that both their convictions would not be registered.

Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, John Rabuku says the sentence delivered by Magistrate Puamau is unsatisfactory, is wrong both in fact and in law and does not reflect the considerations and tariff of cases or matters of similar nature.

The State has filed four grounds of appeal.

These are that the sentence imposed by the Magistrate against Bainimarama and Qiliho are manifestly lenient and in breach of sentencing principles, case laws and the tariff set in other similar matters and offences.

They say Magistrate Puamau erred in law and in fact when she made a finding that there were no aggravating factors against both of them.

The Acting DPP says the Magistrate erred in law and in fact in considering irrelevant factors in sentencing and that Magistrate Puamau erred in law and in fact when she made a finding that there was no victim and that the offending was a technical breach by Bainimarama and Qiliho.

The Notice of Appeal against the sentence was filed in the High Court last Thursday.

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