Maharaj convicted, remanded in custody

FORMER information and public relations officer with the Office of the Prime Minister Rudra Maharaj has been remanded into custody.

This was after the High Court in Suva convicted him on one count of bribery contrary to Section 5 (2) (a) of the Prevention of Bribery Promulgation No.12 of 2007.

Trial judge Justice Priyantha Fernando concurred with the unanimous guilty opinion of the assessors. Maharaj, who was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) on September 28, 2013, has been convicted of accepting an advantage of $2000 cash and two cheques amounting to $10,000 from Avin Prakash on account of using influence in procuring a contract.

Defence lawyer Iqbal Khan asked if Maharaj’s bail could be extended but was refused.

Justice Fernando said once he passed his judgment and convicts the accused, his decision was that the accused would be remanded.

Rashmi Aslam, who was assisted by fellow counsels Frances Puleiwai and Adi Laite Bokini Tuiloa, represented FICAC.

Maharaj will be sentenced next Tuesday.

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