Suva High Court Judge, Justice Dr. Thushara Kumarage will preside over SODELPA MP Ratu Suliano Matanitobua’s trial after he refused the recusal application by Ratu Suliano’s lawyer.
Ratu Suliano’s lawyer, Filimoni Vosarogo made the recusal application as the judge had presided over former SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula’s trial who was also charged with Giving False Information to a Public Servant and Obtaining Financial Advantage.
While delivering his ruling, Justice Dr. Kumarage says there does not appear to be an iota of justification to the claim made by Vosarogo of apparent bias.
He says the witnesses in Nawaikula and Ratu Suliano’s trial can be the same but evidence will be in relation to their interaction with Ratu Suliano.
Justice Dr. Kumarage says the defence will have a chance to cross-examine the witnesses.
The judge adds apart from a few witnesses from Parliament, he is unaware of other witnesses.
Ratu Suliano 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.
He is charged with a count each of Giving False Information to a Public Servant and Obtaining Financial Advantage.
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