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Rabuka will not take the stand in his trial

October 16, 2018 4:52 am

Less than a month away from the Fijian general elections and there are expectations tonight that SODELPA could seriously be considering the appointment of a new party leader as current leader Sitiveni Rabuka’s trial got underway in the Suva Magistrates court today.

The court heard this morning that due to an oversight because of his age Rabuka failed to declare his assets with the Supervisor of Elections.

Rabuka says if the elections office feels this is a breach of regulations then he’s prepared to withdraw as SODELPA party leader.

In his caution interview played in court today Rabuka said it was never his intention to deliberately withhold information from the elections office.

The interview revealed Rabuka had first lent $200,000 to Vijay Raghwan, the owner of the Raghwan Construction Limited.

Rabuka says he loaned the cash as Raghwan’s cash flow was tied up in tribunal affairs and he needed the money for a construction project in Nasese.

The SODELPA leader denies having any business relationship with Raghwan and says they have been close friends since the 1990’s.

It was also revealed in the caution interview that in 2017, a $200,000 and $120,000 cheques were deposited into Rabuka’s account by Raghwan Construction Limited.

Rabuka says he needed the money to make a tax repayment for a property he had purchased valued at $3 million.

The SODELPA Leader will not be giving evidence and neither will his defence counsel be calling on any witnesses.

Oral Closing submissions will be delivered at 11am tomorrow by both parties with FICAC to submit a written outline of the submissions to defence by 9am.

Rabuka will certainly continue as leader if he’s found not guilty of breaching any election regulations, however if he’s found guilty of the offence there will definitely be a wild ruckus at Sodelpa headquarters as different factions who are logger heads within try to push their nominations for new party leader in time for the general elections.