Fiji Time: 6:32 PM on Tuesday 21 April

Fiji Times Logo

/ Front page / News

Justice at last for tourism student

Nanise Loanakadavu
Saturday, February 16, 2013

JOSEPH Rao heaved a sigh of relief after the Suva Magistrates Court acquitted him of a charge of general dishonesty brought against by the Fiji National University (FNU).

Mr Rao, a former Tourism and Hospitality student was awarded a gold medal in 2010 but it was taken back by the university that reasoned he faked his marks and gave false information to the university's administration in order to obtain the prestigious award.

Yesterday, Mr Rao could not hold back his tears when he recalled the humiliation he had endured for the past three years.

"Now, I will finally sleep well after a long time," he said.

"I was a victim of intimidation but I never stopped fighting because deep inside me, I know the truth will finally set me free," he added.

Mr Rao was the best Tourism and Hospitality student and his medal was presented to him by the Minister for Education Filipe Bole.

The university then asked Mr Rao to return the gold medal to have his name engraved on the medal piece.

However, when he enquired about his gold medal, he was informed by the administration that he dishonestly obtained it and therefore, he was not the rightful recipient.

In his judgment, Magistrate Yohan Liyanage said it was significant that Mr Rao made no attempt to pursue his goal by using unlawful means.

"This attitude is not a strange one to expect from a young enthusiastic student who is at the edge of claiming a gold medal which can support his future in many ways," Magistrate Liyanage said.

He said the court was of the view that it was doubtful to conclude whether the mind of the accused person acted dishonestly.





Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. The murder of a schoolteacher
  2. Unclaimed body laid to rest
  3. Winner pulls out
  4. $30k win for couple
  5. Wife wished cancer for hubby
  6. Fisherman in hospital after collision at sea
  7. Project funding
  8. Chiefly family to decide on Tui Bua position
  9. FEA shares on offer
  10. $10m music

Top Stories this Week

  1. Gang rape Monday (20 Apr)
  2. It's a lie Wednesday (15 Apr)
  3. Bloody Sunday Monday (20 Apr)
  4. Death shatters dream Monday (20 Apr)
  5. Fatal trip Thursday (16 Apr)
  6. A fair trial, says Singh Wednesday (15 Apr)
  7. Ro Teimumu makes a stand Wednesday (15 Apr)
  8. Son's death shocks family, police investigate brother Saturday (18 Apr)
  9. Wish for son's death Monday (20 Apr)
  10. Five years in exile Friday (17 Apr)