Prosecution objects to Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s overseas travel, saying he may not return
Riyaz asked to leave the courtroom for disturbing proceedings

Prosecution objects to Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s overseas travel, saying he may not return

Riyaz asked to leave the courtroom for disturbing proceedings

By Mansi Chand , Rashika Kumar
Monday 17/06/2024
(Right) Former Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and his brother (left) Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Magistrate Yogesh Prasad will deliver his ruling on Wednesday after hearing the submissions today in the matter of former Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, where he has applied for variations to his bail condition to travel to Singapore for medical reasons.

DPP lawyer, Nancy Tikoisuva objected to Sayed-Khaiyum's travel as she believes he will not return to Fiji, however, Sayed-Khaiyum has disagreed as he says there are sufficient reasons for him to return, and those are family, business and financial reasons, and he wants to clear his name.

The prosecution says the current medical report for Sayed-Khaiyum does not have the same signature of the doctor and stamp and also he did not provide any tentative date for travelling which indicates that he will not return to Fiji.

Sayed-Khaiyum says these are just allegations against him and he needs to travel because he is in excruciating pain, he is dysfunctional on certain days and has slurred speech which needs an angiogram.

While giving evidence in the matter where he has applied for variations to his bail condition to travel to Singapore, Sayed-Khaiyum says he wants the medical issues rectified, get on with his life, go to work everyday, look after his kids and stand up and function like a normal human being like everyone else.

He says his previous heart and hernia surgeries were done in Singapore and the current procedure required cannot be done in Fiji.

While responding to an affidavit in objection to his travel by CID investigator Suliasi Dulaki that he had travelled to Bangladesh for business purposes, Sayed-Khaiyum says this is not true and that he went to Sydney then to Singapore and when the visa expired in a month, he applied for and got an extension for 59 days.

He says he has no business interest in Bangladesh.

While responding to Dulaki's affidavit that intelligence gathered shows that his wife and children were packing to leave, Sayed-Khaiyum says this is preposterous as his son packed to travel to Suva to take part in a swimming competition and for a UN climate change talk and in fact, they are still unpacking after moving from Nadi to Suva.

When asked by his lawyer, Devanesh Sharma if he owns property in Fiji, the former Attorney General says he has a property in Vunakece in Tamavua that is rented out to the American Embassy, he and his wife own a piece of land through a company called Abide where he has 51 percent shares while his wife has a 49 percent share and his wife runs an 8 bedroom Airbnb in Wailoaloa.

He further says that he has never defaulted on a loan repayment.

He says he does not intend to breach his bail conditions and asks what is he going to do in Singapore or anywhere else.

Sayed-Khaiyum says he is not a flight risk.

In this case, Sayed-Khaiyum and former Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem are charged for the alleged payment of Saneem's taxes without proper approval. Sayed-Khaiyum’s lawyer, Devanesh Sharma earlier informed the court that Sayed-Khaiyum intends to travel from the 14th of June to the 1st of July.

Meanwhile, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s brother, Riyaz was asked to leave the courtroom for laughing when the prosecution mentioned that Sayed-Khaiyum had no intentions of returning to Fiji.

Riyaz had objected to the Magistrate that other people were also laughing but Magistrate Prasad told him to go outside as he was laughing the loudest in the room.

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