No action against Magistrate Puamau

May 9, 2024 12:36 pm

Chief Justice Salesi Temo

Magistrate Seini Pumau also walked free today, as Chief Justice Salesi Temo is not going to take any action against her.

Justice Temo expressed this after he sentenced former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho to one and two years imprisonment, respectively.

The state raised with the acting chief justice that they are considering filing for contempt of court against Magistrate Puamua.

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Justice Temo says he will not be taking any action; however, Magistrate Puamau should take this as a learning experience.

The former PM and the suspended COMPOL were found not guilty and acquitted accordingly by Magistrate Puamau at the Suva Magistrates Court on 12 October 2023.

The State had filed an appeal against their acquittal where Justice Temo then overturned the Magistrate’s decision and found the two guilty as charged.

The matter was then sent back to the Magistrates’ Court for sentencing.

In sentencing the duo, Magistrate Puamau announced that both their convictions would not be registered.

The former PM was granted an absolute discharge while the suspended COMPOL received a conditional discharge with a fine of $1500 on 28 March 2024 by the Suva Magistrates Court following which the State had filed an appeal and challenged the discharge for a custodial sentence.

The Acting Chief Justice quashed the Magistrate Court’s sentence and pronounced the custodial sentences respectively.