High Court overturns assessors’ opinions; Arya acquitted

Kamlesh Arya (4th from left) with lawyer Gregory Woods (left),Kamendra Singh (brothr-in-law), lawyer Vijay Maharaj,son Krishneel Arya and wife Urmila afetr his aquittal from high court yesterday. Picture: RAMA

FORMER diplomat and media relations officer of the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji, Kamlesh Arya was acquitted by the High Court in Suva this afternoon.

Mr Arya was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for one count of abuse of office and one count of general dishonesty causing a loss.

It was alleged Mr Arya whilst acting as the school manager for Bhawani Dayal Primary School,  did arbitrary acts for gain in abuse of the authority of his office, authorised loans amounting to $116,500 from the Free Education Grant provided by the Ministry of Education.

He was also  alleged to have dishonestly caused a risk of loss to the school by authorising the Free Education Grants as loans.

Earlier, regarding the first charge Justice  Riyaz Hamza acquitted Mr Arya, stating that prosecution had failed to provide any relevant or admissible evidence to establish the essential ingredient of the offence of abuse of office.

On Wednesday, during the trial, all three assessors delivered a unanimous guilty opinion for the second charge.

In reading out his judgement on the second charge, Justice Hamza over turned the assessors decision.

Justice Hamza said  prosecution failed to prove the case  and found Mr Arya  not guilty.

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