MPs were briefed on declaration forms

September 26, 2022 4:40 pm

Former FijiFirst MP Vijendra Prakash in court today.

The former Director Corporate Services for Parliament has informed the court that the particulars of the Parliament declaration forms have been thoroughly explained to Members of Parliament.

Atelaite Rokosuka said this exercise was done during the induction and after the MP’s took their oath in Parliament.

She highlighted this while taking the stand today in the trial of former FijiFirst MP Vijendra Prakash.

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It is alleged that Prakash gave false information about his residence to the Secretary-General of Parliament while claiming parliamentary allowances.

Prakash 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 Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption witness said MP’s were made aware that they could only claim for subsistence allowances if they were travelling or residing 30 kilometres beyond Parliament House or where the committee meetings are taking place.

Rokosuka said MP’s were guided when they were given the declaration forms and this means that they fully understood was what required of them to note.

She adds that MP’s were required to state their permanent residence and the information would then allow the Secretary-General to Parliament to confirm whether they’re eligible for the accommodation, travelling and meal allowances.

The trial will continue at the High Court in Suva tomorrow.