MPs not immune from criminal proceedings: Judge

September 21, 2022 1:00 pm

Salote Radrodro. [File Photo]

Parliamentarians are not immune from criminal proceedings.

This was reiterated by Anti-Corruption Division High Court Judge Justice Thushara Kumarage as he dismissed the application for a motion in arrest of judgement in the case of former SODELPA MP Salote Radrodro.

Radrodro’s lawyer, Simione Valenitabua had filed an application for a motion in arrest of judgement in Court last week.

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In this application, Valenitabua had claimed the court has no power to hear the matter, saying these are summary offences.

He added his client is also immune to prosecution under parliamentary privileges and that this application can only be made after the trial.

In his ruling today, the presiding Judge stated Radrodro squandered taxpayer’s money and the same law applies to any crime whether committed by a Member of Parliament or a farmer.

The Judge also added that the application was filed to prolong the matter pending in court.

Justice Kumarage then imposed a cost of $2, 500 against the applicant.

The former SODELPA MP has been convicted of one count of giving false information to a public servant and one count of obtaining a financial advantage.

She has been found guilty of breaching the Parliamentary Remuneration Act of 2014 whereby she falsely stated that her permanent residence was in Namulomulo village, Nabouwalu, Bua, and stole $37,920 between August 2019 and April 2020.

Radrodro will be sentenced tomorrow at 12.30pm.