State to call eighth witness

August 3, 2023 7:12 am

The Acting Director of Public Prosecutions will be calling his eighth State witness today in the trial against former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho.

In this matter, Bainimarama is charged with a count of attempting to pervert the course of justice, while Qiliho is charged with a count of abuse of office.

The charges stem from a complaint filed by the University of the South Pacific in July 2019, pertaining to the conduct of former staff members.

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David Toganivalu says he will be calling on Suliasi Dulaki to give his testimony.

Dulaki was initially expected to give his testimony yesterday, but Toganivalu says he needs time to confer with the witness.

Toganivalu also informed the court that the State has three witnesses remaining to give their testimony, including Dulaki.

Toganivalu adds that one of the witnesses, former Acting Director of the Criminal Investigations Department Serupepeli Neiko, is currently in Australia and will return on Saturday.

Defence lawyer, Devanesh Sharma says he did not object to cross-examining Neiko virtually or awaiting his return from abroad.

Magistrate Seini Puamau says the court is in agreement to make arrangements to accommodate Neiko’s testimony, whether through Skype or in person.

It is alleged that Qiliho, as Police Commissioner, directed the former CID Director Neiko and Inspector Reshmi Dass to stop the investigation into the police complaint by USP on July 15th, 2020.

It is also alleged that Bainimarama, as Prime Minister, directed Qiliho to stop the investigation into a police complaint.

The trial continues this morning.

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