Court Bails Bainimarama and Qiliho

Fiji’s former Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho have been bailed for $10,000 each.

They are scheduled to return to court on March 19, the same day Bainimarama is due back in court, facing abuse of office charges in a separate case alongside former Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and former Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma.

Bainimarama is accused of making “unwarranted demands” of the then Acting ComPol Rusiate Tudravu using “his official capacity” as prime minister to terminate the employment of Police officers Penieli Ratai and Tomasi Naulu and if he failed to do so, he (Tudravu) would also be terminated. Qiliho is charged with abusing his authority by reviewing disciplinary decisions and arbitrarily terminating the two officers’ employment in August 2021.

Bainimarama faces one count of Unwarranted Demands Made By A Public Official, alleged to have occurred between May 21, 2021, and August 18, 2021. It is claimed that, while employed as a public official, he made an unwarranted demand with menaces of Tudravu to allegedly terminate the employment of Ratai and Naulu.  The alleged act is said to have been done using his official capacity as prime minister to influence the former senior official. 

Qiliho is facing two counts of abuse of office. The first count alleges that between August 5, 2021, and August 18, 2021, while employed as the Commissioner of Police, Qiliho reviewed the disciplinary decision made 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.  The second count, also under Section 139 of the Crimes Act 2009, alleges that during the same period, he reviewed the disciplinary decision of another officer and terminated his employment constituting an arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of the officer. 

Bainimarama and Qiliho appeared in court today after being held overnight at Totogo Police Station following questioning by Police.

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