FRCS witness cross examined

September 22, 2022 4:20 pm

The Defence lawyer for former FijiFirst MP Vijendra Prakash cross examined the witness from the Fiji Revenue and Customs Services this afternoon.

The lawyer questioned FRCS Head of Debt and Returns Management, Dhineshwaran Goundar in the Anti-Corruption Division High Court on whether it is more convenient for Prakash to use the residential address of Lot 1, Omkar Road Narere for communication than Waidravo, Vunidawa in Naitasiri.

Goundar responded it would be more convenient for the taxpayer and FRCS is okay with either address for communication.

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The Defense lawyer also pointed out that the word ‘permanent’ is not stated in the residence section of the form and that either residential address would fulfill the requirement of the form.

His lawyer also pointed out that Prakash’s farming income would fluctuate over the years based on factors such as productivity, tropical cyclones and various expenditures as the FICAC Counsel examined tax return forms lodged by Prakash dating back to 2017 in court earlier today.

Goundar informed the court there have been no changes made by Prakash to both his residential address or his postal address which is in Nakasi as of the last tax return which is 26th May, 2020.

The court also heard that the gross income for Prakash in 2020 was over $76, 000 which decreased by more than $40, 000 in 2021.

Goundar stated this was due to the loss of his Parliamentary salary.

Prakash was a Member of Parliament up to 7th December 2020, after which charges were laid against him.

Prakash is standing trial for allegedly giving false information about his residence to the Secretary-General of Parliament while claiming parliamentary allowances.

He is alleged to have falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was in Waidracia, Vunidawa, Nabuni, Naluwai, Naitasiri, and allegedly obtained $33,670 between August 2019 and March 2020.

The hearing continues before High Court Judge Justice Thushara Kumarage tomorrow.