Suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho.
Suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho claimed that the charges laid against him were part of a bigger conspiracy.
Qiliho took the stand yesterday to address allegations of his interference in an investigation into the mismanagement of funds at the University of the South Pacific (USP).
Qiliho told the court that when the coalition government was formed, he was told that Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka couldn’t work with him.
He further states that the Home Affairs Minister, Pio Tikoduadua, told him to resign from his position, which he refused to do.
Qiliho claims that investigating officers are now twisting his words to implicate him because of the pressure they are under.
He further claims that the government is looking for something to charge him with in order to remove him from office.
The suspended police commissioner defended that it was never his intention to stop the investigation; in fact, he was ready to rally his senior officers to support the investigation.
Qiliho maintained that he was only made aware of an investigation into mismanagement of funds when he called the Director CID at the time, Serupepeli Neiko, on July 15, 2020, to inquire about a separate USP investigation.
The investigation was in relation to a complaint of police surveillance by someone from USP.
Qiliho claimed that it was during this phone conversation that he learned of the USP mismanagement of funds investigation.
He maintained that following this conversation, he had a 114-second phone call with the investigating officer, Reshmi Dass, in which he advised her to stop what she was doing and give him a brief on the case.
He claimed he needed the brief so that he could be prepared in case he needed to give an update on the case to the Prime Minister or Minister.
Qiliho told the court that he never received a minute or brief on the USP investigation relating to mismanagement of funds.
Meanwhile, Magistrate Seini Puamau revealed that she will not take very long to write up her judgment and will need at least three days to conclude her final decision.
The two counsels will be submitting their closing arguments and oral submissions in open court on October 4th.
Magistrate Puamau is expected to deliver her ruling on October 12th.