Bainimarama Duo to Appear in Separate Courtrooms on the Same Day 

Fiji’s former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama will appear in the Suva High Court tomorrow following the State’s appeal against his non-custodial sentence last week, while his son Meli faces assault-related charges in Parramatta, Australia.

The senior Bainimarama returns to court, alongside suspended COMPOL Sitiveni Qiliho after the state appealed the sentences Magistrate Seini Puamau handed down to the duo on charges stemming from the termination of an investigation into financial mismanagement at the University of the South Pacific.

The sentences meted out last Thursday essentially saw the two avoid jail time and without any conviction recorded against them, despite a high court ruling this year that found them guilty. It was the second time they were let off by Magistrate Puamau after she acquitted them of the same charges last year.

Hours after the sentencing, the state promptly filed an appeal against both sentences on four grounds, including that it was lenient, that Magistrate Puamau considered irrelevant factors, that she found no aggravating factors, and that she was of the view that there was no victim as it was a technical breach by both respondents.

The timing of the case tomorrow is uncertain, potentially overlapping with Meli’s appearance in a Parramatta court on matters emanating from 18 violence-related charges he is facing.

Meli is due to appear in a Parramatta court around 9.30 am (Aus Time) for mention relating to an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) application made by the police on behalf of Mary Tracey Funganitao, who is seeking protection from Bainimarama. An AVO is a legal order issued by a court to protect someone from violence or threats of violence. However, this is not the only case listed this week before the same court that bears his name. There is another listed at the same time tomorrow, filed in 2022, believed to be linked to the former case but listed for mention with the police as the initiating party.

The young Bainimarama has a third case Thursday, filed in 2023, in the same court listed for bail review.

Related Articles:

State Appeals Against Former Fiji PM Bainimarama And Suspended COMPOL Qiliho’s Sentences

Absolute Discharge For Fiji PM Bainimarama And Fine Without Conviction For Qiliho

Sentencing Day For Former Fiji PM Bainimarama And Suspended Top Cop Qiliho

Bainimarama and Qiliho Guilty – High Court Reverses Acquittal

Court Clears Both Former Fiji PM Bainimarama And Suspended COMPOL Qiliho

Bainimarama And Qiliho Plead Not Guilty To Unlawful Termination Charges

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