7 June, 2018, 9:00 am
FIJI Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) lawyer, Rashmi Aslam, yesterday informed the court that they will be relying on the caution interview of the former prime minister and SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka as it contained his full confession. Mr Aslam made the above statement after Mr Rabuka pleaded not guilty to the charges laid against him by FICAC when the matter was called before Suva Magistrate Joji Boseiwaqa.
It is alleged that on December 29, 2017, Mr Rabuka provided a false declaration of assets and liabilities to the Supervisor of Elections by failing to provide information, namely the tax liability with Fiji Revenue and Customs Service in the amount of $316,956.20, the investment and interest income with said Raghwan Construction Ltd in the amount of $120,000 contrary to the Political Parties Act.
The defence counsels Filimoni Vosarogo and Lynda Tabuya responded they would be challenging the caution interview and they would reveal their grounds in the next court sitting.
The two counsels also stated that a few preliminary issues needed to be addressed and this included the way FICAC conducted its investigation.
They also requested FICAC to obtain statements from those who were involved in the investigation and interview and this would be filed under voir dire in the next court sitting.
Ms Tabuya said it was imperative for the prosecution to provide full disclosures to the defence especially on who the main complainant was in this case.
Mr Aslam responded, saying Ms Tabuya should thoroughly read through the information provided as it contained what she was after.
Both parties also confirmed they had no issues with Mr Boseiwaqa presiding over the matter because of a previous mention of a possible conflict of interest. The case has been adjourned to June 15 for mention.