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Judgement on Dr Reddy to be delivered next month

May 14, 2018 7:16 pm

The Suva High court will deliver its judgement next month in relation to an appeal filed by the Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption on former Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy.

FICAC is appealing the Suva Magistrate’s Court acquittal of Dr Reddy on one count of bribery and one count of undue influence.

Both parties yesterday gave their submissions before High court Judge Justice Vincent Perera.

FICAC yesterday stated the political rights of Waisea Lebobo – the manager of Ra High School – were compromised due to the actions of former Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy.

FICAC lawyer Rashmi Aslam argued in the High Court that during a talanoa session in Rakiraki, Lebobo highlighted the issue of inconsistent water supply with Dr Reddy.

In the original case, it was alleged Dr Reddy interfered with Lebobo’s political rights by saying the water supply issue would be looked at after the 2018 General Election and if Lebobo was with them then he need not worry.

It is alleged he also told Lebobo not to say to the media that the Government is not doing anything.

Aslam said the political rights of Lebobo were hindered since, in his testimony, Lebobo had told the court the Minister’s statement caused him to change his political allegiance.

The lawyer also argued the magistrate has not applied the Constitutional guarantee of political rights in his decision to acquit Dr Reddy.

In response, Defense Counsel Devanesh Sharma said the Chief Magistrate made no error and that while testifying Lebobo had stated he didn’t even recall what the Minister said.

Sharma also said that prior to the elections, Lebobo was campaigning for SODELPA, and however, after the elections, he accepted the results and supported the current Government.

Sharma asked the court not to order a re-trial and consider the consequences of it on the accused.

The judgement will be delivered on June 22nd.