O’Connor charged for an election campaign breach

FijiFirst party candidate, Alexander O'Connor. Picture: FT FILE

FijiFirst Candidate Alexander O’Connor was produced at the Suva Magistrates Court today on allegations of an election campaign breach.

Mr O’Connor has been charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for three counts of Prohibition on Use of State Resources to Campaign contrary to Section 113 (4) of the Electoral Act 2014.

According to FICAC, Mr O’Connor is alleged to have conducted campaign activities and distributed campaign materials bearing the candidate number 252 inside two Health centres and one nursing station ton or about November 23, 2022 in the Northern Division.

It is alleged Mr O’ Connor had requested the medical staff to distribute his campaign materials.

Under Section 113 of the Electoral Act 2014, it is unlawful to conduct campaign activities or to post or distribute any campaign material inside a public office.

State Counsel, Joseph Work informed the Court that the first phase of disclosures has been served.

Mr Work further informed the Court that since the offence took place in the Northern Division, Prosecution would be making an application in Court to have the matter transferred to the North per suitable dates to the Court.

Resident Magistrates Kiran granted a non-cash bail of $750 and ordered  Mr O’ Connor not to re-offend whilst on bail.

He is also ordered not to interfere with state witnesses, not to change his residential address without first informing the Court and to surrender all travel documents.

He is to report to the Lautoka Police Station on the last Friday of every month between 8am to 8pm.

A stop departure order has been issued against Alexander O’ Connor.

The Fijian Elections Office received the initial complaint and referred the matter to FICAC under the Electoral Act to conduct investigations and prosecution.

The matter has been adjourned to February 17, 2023 at the Savusavu Magistrates Court.

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