Nawaikula seeks suspended sentence, FICAC disagrees

May 13, 2022 1:00 pm

Former Opposition Member of Parliament Nikolau Nawaikula.

Former Opposition Member of Parliament Nikolau Nawaikula has suffered a huge blow after his conviction in the Anti-Corruption High Court.

This was claimed in court by his lawyer in court today and comes after he was found guilty last week on two counts: giving false information to a public servant and obtaining a financial advantage.

Nawaikula through his lawyer has sought forgiveness from the general population and has requested a suspended sentence.

Article continues after advertisement

Nawaikula fraudulently obtained $20,201.35 in travel reimbursements between August 2019 and April 2020.

During the sentencing and mitigation hearing this morning, Nawaikula’s lawyer Sevuloni Valenitabua says his client lost credibility which is a punishment in itself.

He says the SODELPA member has lost his parliamentary seat and lost an annual income of $50,000 and other allowances.

Valenitabua also submitted that Nawaikula will not be able to practice law anymore and with the loss of his law firm, he will lose $90,000 annually as well.

He told the court that the former MP is ready to payback the amount claimed in parliamentary allowances, which shows he had no intention to defraud parliament.

Meanwhile, Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption prosecutor Rashmi Alam has asked the court to consider imposing the maximum penalty when sentencing former Opposition MP Nikolau Nawaikula.

Aslam says the sentence should deter the public and aspiring politicians from engaging in such conduct.

He says Nawaikula is a seasoned politician who has shown no remorse for his conduct.

Aslam says the sentence should send a signal that the criminal justice system denounces such acts.

He highlighted that Nawaikula has breached the trust of the 5100 people who had voted for him.

Aslam also says restitution is too late and too little.

Nawaikula will be sentenced next Friday.