Jail term necessary: FICAC

August 8, 2022 12:40 pm

Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption Commissioner Rashmi Aslam said he was not contesting Ratu Suliano’s good character.

He said there was no doubt the Opposition MP’s demeanour in court was commendable, it showed that he was a humble chief and perhaps was remorseful about his actions.

However, Aslam said the court should not consider the good character evidence given by the two witnesses in court this morning.

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He said this was mainly because the two witnesses were closely associated with Ratu Suliano and this means that their evidence lacked objectivity.

Aslam said the MP decided to restitute the money after the trial was conducted and this indicated that he was not remorseful of his actions.

He said the MP did this only to ensure that the State does not file a civil claim against him.

He adds that the MP has reached the climax of his career and the breach of trust, in this case, was higher because it did not involve only a portion of people but the money misused by the MP was taxpayer’s money of this country and so the breach of trust, in this case, was higher.

Aslam stated that the court needed to impose a prison term as it would serve as a deterrent to those who intend to commit a similar corrupt-related offence.

He adds that the MP should have taken into account the health status of his wife before committing the offence.

High Court Judge Justice Thushara Kumarage will deliver his sentence next Monday.