Money belongs to hardworking citizens, Judge tells Prakash

February 3, 2023 2:10 pm

Vijendra Prakash. [File Photo]

Former FijiFirst Member of Parliament Vijendra Prakash has been told that his immediate resignation from Parliament after being charged with misusing parliamentary allowances cannot be seen as an act of remorse.

Prakash has been sentenced to 36 months’ imprisonment however, the last eight months of his sentence will be suspended.

Prakash will now spend time behind bars for giving false information about his residence to the former Secretary-General of Parliament while claiming parliamentary allowances.

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

The presiding judge told Prakash that he betrayed public trust by committing the offense.

The Judge says that Prakash had a responsibility to the constitution of this country and by committing the crime he breached the highest level of trust.

Prakash was told that some defence witnesses looked up to him as an idol, but this has been tarnished.

The judge further stated that the amount involved is higher than the average pay of some civil servants.

He told Prakash that what he did could corrupt the political culture of the nation.

He adds the money misappropriated by the former MP belonged to the hardworking citizens of Fiji.

Prakash is the fourth former MP to be convicted for similar offenses. He has been given 30 days to appeal.