New revelations in Qiliho, Bainimarama case

August 3, 2023 4:50 pm

Suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho in his caution interview had stated that he never gave instructions to close the investigation into the University of the South Pacific.

This was revealed by Inspector Suliasi Dulaki of the Criminal Investigations Department in the Suva Magistrates Court as Qiliho and Bainimarama’s trial continued.

Dulaki, as the State’s eighth witness, read out in court the transcripts of the caution interviews he conducted with Qiliho on February 8th and March 9th this year.

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He said that during a video interview, Qiliho said he could not recall that he was asked by the then Prime Minister (Bainimarama) to stay away from the investigation, however, he was called by Bainimarama to provide a briefing.

Dulaki says Qiliho said he then spoke with the Acting Director CID SSP Serupepeli Neiko and Inspector Reshmi Dass and directed them to stop the investigation and provide him with a summary.

In the interview, Qiliho says he never received the summary of the case, even when he returned from a studying stint in the United Kingdom.

The witness testified that Qiliho revealed in his caution interview that he had only given instructions to stop the investigation so that he could receive a summary in order to see how to proceed with the case and that in his opinion, the case was still open.

He also said in the caution interview that he does not recall that he was asked by the former Prime Minister to stop the investigation into USP.

During cross examination by defence lawyer Devanesh Sharma, Dulaki read that Qiliho, in his discussion with former Minister for Defence Inia Seruiratu said they were aware that the two institutions, namely the Fiji Police Force and the Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption were conducting the same investigation.

Qiliho said in his interview that he had sought information from SSP Neiko and former Chief of Intelligence, Investigation and Prosecution, ACP Biu Matavou so that he could provide a brief to the “right people”.

Bainimarama is charged with a count of attempt to pervert the course of justice while Qiliho is charged with a count of abuse of office.

The matter has been adjourned to Monday.

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