First witness takes stand in Bainimarama, Qiliho trial

July 17, 2023 12:53 pm

Suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho (left), Voreqe Bainimarama.

The trial of former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho started in the Suva Magistrates Court this morning.

University of the South Pacific Director Assurance and Compliance has taken the stand as the first prosecution witness.

Dulari Doras Traill who joined USP in May 2017 says she carried out a quick review of risk management framework and the environment to ascertain how the university was managing its risk.

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The former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama arriving at the Suva Magistrates Court this morning.

She found that USP didn’t have a whistle-blower policy and a policy to report fraud-related matters.

Traill says the policies were prepared and endorsed following which they started carrying out awareness on the two policies.

She says following this they started receiving issues and reports.

The prosecution witness informed the court that in 2018 they received a report of a bonus payment that was facilitated and paid out in a questionable manner.

Traill adds the matter was raised by the Human Resources officer.

She says this is when they started an investigation.

The former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the Suva Magistrates Court this morning.

Traill informed the court that she was allegedly told by former Deputy Vice-Chancellor Derrick Armstrong to stop the investigation.

She says she was told to investigate the officers who had raised the matter for breach of confidentiality between the HR officer who had reported and the officer who had processed the payment.

The prosecution witness says she was also summoned to the former Vice Chancellor Professor Rajesh Chandra’s office who was adamant that the officers needed to go home.

She says her role was to protect the institution and they continued with the investigation.

The trial continues.

Stay with us for more updates.

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