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FICAC appeals Dr Reddy acquittal

Aqela Susu
Friday, December 08, 2017

THE Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption (FICAC) is now awaiting a notice from the High Court to hear its appeal against the acquittal of former education minister Dr Mahendra Reddy.

Dr Reddy was accused of having conferred or offered to confer a benefit, namely a steady water source, for Ra High School in order to influence the vote of Waisea Lelobo, the school manager. He was alleged to have interfered with the free exercise or performance of a political right of Mr Lelobo that is relevant to the 2018 election.

But in a ju­dgment chief magistr­ate Usaia Ratuvili said the prose­c­ution failed to prove both allegati­ons against Dr Reddy and found him not guilty of the offence and acquitted him of one count of bribery and one count of undue influence. "There is no conclusive evidence as to how a statement made on or about May 8, 2017, will adversely interfere with this registered voter exercising his political rights in a yet to be declared general election scheduled some time in 2018," he said.

Yesterday, FICAC confirmed that it had lodged an appeal with the High Court in Suva based on eight grounds.

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