SG trusts MP’s declaration: Witness

September 20, 2022 12:30 pm

Former FijiFirst MP Vijendra Prakash in court today.

A Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption witness has informed the court that the then acting Secretary-General to Parliament does not cross-check the permanent residence of Members of Parliament.

Paulini Turaga, the former acting SG’s personal assistant said the team was definite that when MP’s submit their declaration forms, the information outlined is valid or true.

She said this was why the team did not find it necessary to confirm the permanent residence of MP’s.

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Turaga adds it was not her responsibility to re-check the permanent residence of MP’s stated in the Parliamentary declaration form.

In addition, she informed the Anti-Corruption Division High Court that the former FijiFirst MP Vijendra Prakash had listed Omkar Road in Narere as his residential address in the declaration form.

Prakash is standing trial for allegedly giving false information about his residence to the SG 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.

Another witness also testified that the former MP had listed Omkar Road as his residential address when filling out the passport renewal form.

Sanjana Singh, an Immigration Officer said it was not necessary for passport applicants to inform the Department of Immigration if they change their place of residence.

Singh said the form required applicants to state their full residential address and not their permanent residence.

The hearing continues before High Court Judge Justice Thushara Kumarage.