Ratu Suliano Matanitobua
Two witnesses from different stage agencies testified in the case against Social Democratic Liberal Party Member of Parliament Ratu Suliano Matanitobua today.
Both told the court that the accused stated in their respective forms that he permanently resides in Veivatuloa village in Namosi.
Sanjana Mala from the Fiji Immigration Office says Ratu Suliano, following a recent trip overseas, listed Veivatuloa village as his address in his arrival.
When asked by defence whether this is an indication of the MP’s permanent address, Mala replied that for Fiji citizens it must be their permanent address entered in the form.
The second witness, Land Transport Authority Complaints Officer, Margret Grey testified that Ratu Suliano is listed as residing in Veivatuloa Village in their records.
She says Ratu Suliano has been their customer since 1995 and even when he renewed his license in 2020, he maintained his place of residence as Veivatuloa village.
Meanwhile, yesterday, former Secretary-General of Parliament Viniana Namosimalua told the court that in the claims form Ratu Suliano filled out for parliamentary allowances, he stated that his permanent residence was Namosi Village in Namosi.
It is alleged that Ratu Suliano’s permanent address was a rented government quarters in Vatuwaqa, Suva, therefore making him ineligible for allowances.
The parliamentary allowances of $350 a day and $30 a meal are only paid to MPs who live beyond 30km from parliament.
Ratu Suliano is charged with one count of giving false information to a public servant and one count of obtaining a financial advantage.
He allegedly falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was Namosi Village, in Namosi and obtained over $38, 300 between August 2019 and April 2020.
The trial will continue from the 30th of this month.