Former Fiji PM Bainimarama Faces Amended Charge Ahead of Trial

Former Prime Minister of Fiji Voreqe Bainimarama is now facing a revised charge as he prepares for his upcoming trial, the dates for which have been revised.

Bainimarama is now accused of Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice, a charge that replaces the previous allegation of abuse of office. It is alleged that between July and September 2020 in Suva, he instructed the suspended Commissioner of Police, Sitiveni Qiliho, to refrain from involvement in the University of the South Pacific (USP) investigations.

He appeared in court today before Resident Magistrate Seini Puamau alongside Qiliho. Qiliho is accused of ordering the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department at that time, Serupepeli Neiko, and another officer to terminate an investigation initiated by the university in 2019. The investigation in question focused on the activities of former USP staff members.

The trial is now set to occur from July 17 to 20, with additional dates of August 2 to 4, and potentially extending to August 8 to 10 if necessary. The matter has been adjourned to July 6 for a Pre-Trial Conference, and both Bainimarama and Qiliho have had their bail extended.

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