Bainimarama and Qiliho found guilty after appeal

Former prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended commissioner of police Sitiveni Qiliho. Picture: SUPPLIED



THE Suva High Court found former prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended commissioner of police Sitiveni Qiliho guilty this morning.

According to the particulars of the case, Bainimarama was charged with one count of attempting to pervert the course of justice, while Qiliho was charged with one count of abuse of office. Bainimarama had directed the suspended Police Commissioner to stop an investigation into a police complaint on a University of the South Pacific matter sometime in July, 2020.

A report by FBC stated that Acting Chief Justice Salesi Temo accepted all the evidence of the state witness as he found them credible.

Justice Temo said he upheld the state grounds of appeal one, two, six, seven and eight but he deemed grounds three, four and five unnecessary and a waste of the court’s time.

According to the FBC report the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution had appealed the matter following the acquittal of the two by the Suva Magistrates Court.

Magistrate Seini Puamau acquitted them in October last year.

Justice Temo ordered that the matter be called before Ms Puamau on the 18th of this month, where she will have to pronounce Bainimarama and Qiliho guilty as charged and convict them accordingly.

He also directed the accused lawyers to file mitigation and sentencing submissions for both responders by March 20th, before 4pm.

The state will have to do the same.

Justice Temo further said Ms Puamau would have to hear the sentencing submissions on March 21st at 9.30am and pass the sentences for Bainimarama and Qiliho on March 28.


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