Defence considers filing no case to answer in Bainimarama and Qiliho trial

August 4, 2023 7:35 am

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will call its ninth and final witness to the stand next Monday in the trial of former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho.

Acting Director of Public Prosecution David Toganivalu sought the court’s time as the witness, former Criminal Investigations Department Director Serupepeli Neiko is currently in Australia and will return tomorrow.

Magistrate Seini Puamau adjourned the matter after conferring with defence counsel Devanesh Sharma.

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Sharma adds that after Neiko gives his testimony, the defence will have to determine if there is no case to answer.

Meanwhile, Puamau says she will need some guidance from both counsels regarding the testimony of former Acting Police Commissioner Rusiate Tudravu.

She says that Tudravu issued the directive after taking up the matter with the National Security Council,

Puamau says questions will be asked as to why Tudravu is not charged as an accomplice with Qiliho for issuing a directive.

The trial continues on Monday at noon.

In this matter, Bainimarama is charged with a count of attempting to pervert the course of justice, while Qiliho is charged with a count of abuse of office.

The charges stem from a complaint filed by the University of the South Pacific in July 2019, pertaining to the conduct of former staff members.

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