Bainimarama and Qiliho Charged, To Appear in Court Tomorrow

Fiji’s former Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho, who were taken in for questioning in Suva today, have been charged.

They face charges related to alleged abuse of office in the unlawful termination of two police officers in 2021.

Both will be held in custody at Totogo Police Station and appear at the Suva Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Bainimarama is accused of making “unwarranted demands”…using “his official capacity” to influence the termination of police officers’ employment. Qiliho is charged with abusing his authority by reviewing disciplinary decisions and arbitrarily terminating two officers’ employment during August 2021.

Bainimarama is alleged to have between the 21 May 2021 and 18 August, 2021, whilst being employed as a public official made an unwarranted demand with menaces of a former senior Police officer to allegedly terminate the employment of other police officers. It is alleged that he used his official capacity as Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji and was done with the intention of influencing the former senior official.

Qiliho has been charged with one count of Abuse of Office, contrary to Section 139 of the Crimes Act 2009, as he is alleged to have between the 5th and 18th day of August 2021, being employed in the civil service as the Commissioner of Police reviewed the disciplinary decision made by the senior officer, and terminated the employment of a police officer, in abuse of the authority of his office, an arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of the officer.

Qiliho faces an additional charge of Abuse of Office, contrary to Section 139 of the Crimes Act 2009, as it is alleged that during the same period, he also reviewed the disciplinary decision of another officer and terminated his employment which was an arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of the officer.

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