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Judgment in Rabuka appeal on Nov 12

 

Oct 31, 2018 10:22:01 AM

Judgment in Rabuka appeal on Nov 12 The High Court in Suva will deliver its judgment on FICAC’s appeal of the acquittal of SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka on November 12.

The matter was called before Chief Justice, Anthony Gates yesterday where FICAC lawyer Rashmi Aslam stated that under section 23 & 30 of the Electoral Act 2014, the eligibility of a candidate needs to be cleared, and therefore they requested the need for a prompt decision.

Justice Gates said it was not possible to proceed with the case before the Election, however, in the High Court this can be realized- therefore, a strict timetable will be followed.

He said any election case needs to be proceeded with great expedition and this is highlighted not only in the Fijian law but internationally as well.

Both counsels were informed to centre on these points of determining whether the matter is a criminal or civil proceeding and make compassion of proving registration or status.

Rabuka’s defence counsel did not object to FICAC’s request to expedite the matter but stressed the importance for proper judicial proceedings to be followed.

The case has been adjourned to Friday for written submission by FICAC and the defence counsel will file its submission on Monday with the oral hearing to be made next Thursday.

 Rabuka was acquitted by the Magistrates Court last Friday but FICAC appealed the sentencing shortly after stating its 15 grounds.

FICAC had charged Rabuka for providing false declaration of assets, income and liabilities to the Supervisor of Elections contrary to the Political Party Act 2013. He was alleged to have failed to provide information pertaining to tax liability with the Fiji Revenue and Customs Services which amounted to over $316,000.

Rabuka was also alleged to have declared investment and interest income from Raghwan Constructions Limited in the amount of $200,000 and $16,000 respectively and also a liability in the amount of $120,000.

The former Prime Minister is also charged with one count of breaching his bail conditions.

It is alleged that on June 18, 2018, Rabuka allegedly approached and interfered with one of the prosecution witnesses in relation to his substantive matter.

By Reginald Chandar

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