SODELPA MP’s plead not guilty
January 25, 2021 12:43 pm
Six SODELPA MP’s who allegedly breached the Parliamentary Remuneration Act 2014, have pleaded not guilty to their charges.
They appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court this morning.
Adi Litia Qionibaravi, Simione Rasova, Salote Radrodro, Peceli Vosanibola, Niko Nawaikula, and Ratu Suliano Matanitobua are charged with giving false information to a public servant and obtaining financial advantage.
FICAC alleged that these MPs lied about their residential addresses to obtain travel and accommodation allowances from parliament funds.
Ratu Suliano allegedly obtained $38,378, Radrodro allegedly obtained $37,920, Rasova allegedly obtained $21,350, Nawaikula allegedly obtained $20,201, Vosanibola allegedly obtained $19,749 while Adi Litia is alleged to have obtained $15, 480.
In court today, their lawyers were given seven-days to file and serve a formal application for transfer to the High Court.
Ratu Suliano, Salote Radrodro, and Vosanibola also brought in their second surety who each signed bail bonds of $700.
The state lawyer did not object to bail.
Nawaikula will have to bring to court a second surety at 2.30 pm.
All SODELPA MP’s have been excused from the next court hearing as they need to be in Parliament.
Former government MP Vijendra Prakash faces the same charges and has resigned from parliament as a result.
Prakash will enter his plea on the 9th of next month as he was not ready to do so today.
It is alleged that he obtained $33,670 from the acting Secretary-General to Parliament as allowances.
The SODELPA MP’s will have their case called again on the 9th of next month.