Defence Cites Mishandling of Files in Bainimarama and Qiliho Abuse of Office Retrial

Defense Attorney for former Fiji PM Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended COMPOL Sitiveni Qiliho alluded to police handling of the investigation files when presenting his argument during the appeal hearing in Suva yesterday.

Devanesh Sharma told the court that there was no order to stop investigations given by either Bainimarama or Qiliho and instead the case stalled and dragged because of how the CID had been passing the files around.

The court heard that the files were passed from CID to the Director of Economic Crime Loraini Seru and she held onto them for over a month then got passed back to CID, stayed there for a while then got sent back to the Director of Economic Crime from where it didn’t get released till a few months later.

Sharma stated that during the investigation, Qiliho had gone to the United Kingdom to undergo a 1 year study during which he was never updated nor brought up to speed about the proceeding of the case.

The court was told that upon his return Acting COMPOL at the time Rusiate Tudravu did not update him about the investigation.

Sharma said FICAC’s investigation was also inconsistent after they closed off their inquiry before everything concluded.

Chief Justice Temo also questioned FICAC’s early closure of the case.

The case involving Bainimarama and Qiliho revolves around specific allegations related to their actions during an investigation into the University of the South Pacific (USP) in 2020. Bainimarama was charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice. Qiliho is charged with abuse of office. They were acquitted of the charges by Magistrate Seini Puamau.

Judgement will be passed down on March 14.

Related Articles:

FICAC Uncovers Allowance Abuse at USP During Trial of Former Fiji PM and Suspended ComPol

Court Clears Both Former Fiji PM Bainimarama And Suspended COMPOL Qiliho

Bainimarama And Qiliho Appeal Hearing Verdict Set For March 14

Prosecution Claims Fabrication Of Investigations In Bainimarama-Qiliho Abuse Of Office Retrial

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