Fiji’s Opposition MP Nawaikula convicted of giving false information and obtaining a financial advantage

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Fiji’s Opposition MP Niko Nawaikula has been found guilty of one count of giving false information to a public servant and one count of obtaining a financial advantage.

The matter was called before High Court Judge Justice Dr Thushara Kumarage in the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court at Suva for judgment today.

In his judgment Justice Kumarage said Nawaikula falsely stated his permanent place of residence to be Buca village, Natewa, Cakaudrove, to former secretary general to Parliament Viniana Namosimalua.

And as a result, obtained $20,201.35 (US$10,100.66) in travel reimbursements and between August 2019 and April 2020.

Nawaikula was convicted on both counts.

Sentencing submissions will be heard next Friday, 13 May.

Meanwhile, the trial of Opposition MP Ratu Suliano Matanitobua will begin on Monday, 16 May.

The matter was called for mention in the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court in Suva before High Court Judge Dr Justice Thushara Kumarage Monday.

Defence lawyer, Filimoni Vosarogo, said the dates were suitable and that since the last court date they had received two further bundles of disclosures from the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC).

Vosarogo said any issues should be ironed out before the trial starts on 16 May.

The matter was called for mention to check the overseas counsel that Vosarogo said the defence was consulting with but it was not discussed in court.

SOURCE: FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS