Seeking an audience failed says former SG

May 19, 2022 12:56 pm

Member of Parliament Ratu Suliano Matanitobua.

Former Secretary General of Parliament, Viniana Namosimalua, claims that her attempts to speak to SODELPA Member of Parliament Ratu Suliano Matanitobua about a possible fraud was futile.

She is currently giving evidence in the case against Ratu Suliano.

Ratu Suliano is charged with one count of giving false information to a public servant and one count of obtaining a financial advantage.

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He allegedly falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was Namosi Village, in Namosi.

The MP allegedly obtained over $38,300 between August 2019 and April 2020.

Namosimalua has told the court that Ratu Suliano, like any other MP, took an oath before Fiji that he would respect the rule of law.

She says the Namosi high chief also took an oath declaring his permanent residence as Namosi Village in Namosi.

Namosimalua says it was only when questions were raised alleging that Ratu Suliano had falsified his place of residence that she went back to see the declaration form.

She says following this, she tried to seek a clarification and speak to Ratu Suliano on several occasions, but this failed, adding she spoke to other MPs who were also implicated but not Ratu Suliano.

Namosimalua says she then sought clarification from the then Solicitor General, Sharvada Sharma, on the legal definition of permanent residence.

She adds that Sharma advised her to inform the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption.

However, she says that she advised the Speaker on the matter before informing FICAC.

The case continues in the High Court, where Ratu Suliano’s lawyer will be cross-examining the witness soon.