DPP sanctions charges against Bainimarama and Qiliho

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Former prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama exit the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters in Toorak, Suva on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU/FT FILE

Director of Public Prosecutions Christopher Pryde has sanctioned charges of abuse of office against former prime minister and suspended opposition leader Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama and  suspended police commissioner Sitiveni Tukaituraga Qiliho.

This followed the DPP’s review of the police evidence docket.

The charges relate to a complaint laid with the police by the University of the South Pacific in July 2019 in relation to the activities of former staff members of the university.

“The former prime minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, and the suspended police commissioner, Sitiveni Qiliho, are alleged to have arbitrarily and in abuse of the authority of their respective offices, terminated an active police investigation,” Mr Pryde said in a statement.

He said police have also been requested to undertake further investigations into other matters arising from this case.

More charges may be laid against other suspects in due course, the DPP said.

Earlier this afternoon, Mr Bainimarama and Mr Qiliho were taken in again for questioning.

Fiji Police Chief of Intelligence, Investigations and Prosecutions Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police (A/ACP) Sakeo Raikaci said the earlier interview was suspended when the file was sent to the DPP for advice.

He said the continuation of the questioning was in accordance with the processes to be undertaken before the investigation was finalised.

 

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