Court to rule on FICAC appeal in Reddy’s case next month

HIGH Court judge Justice Vinsent Perera will deliver his judgment on an appeal hearing for former Education Minister Mahendra Reddy next month.

Mr Reddy was acquitted of one count each of bribery and undue influence last December by Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili.

Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) prosecutor Rashmi Aslam on Monday laid out eight grounds of appeal at the High Court in Suva, consisting of purely legal matters and breaches of laws and facts.

Mr Aslam appealed to the court to consider a re-trial reasoning this was a matter of public interest and because it impacted on democracy and the rights of members of the public.

It was alleged that Mr Reddy, in May 2017, directly offered to provide a steady water source to Ra High School in order to influence the vote of Waisea Lebobo, the school manager.

Suva lawyer Devanesh Sharma who represented Mr Reddy highlighted the inconsistencies in the evidence of Mr Lebobo and urged the court to view everything in the correct context.

He pleaded with the court to dismiss the appeal and not consider a re-trial because it had already negatively impacted the life of his client.

Justice Perera will deliver his judgement on June 22.

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