Former Fiji PM Voreqe Bainimarama charged with abuse of power


Former Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was charged with one account of abuse of office, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Christopher Pryde said on Thursday and will appear in court today.

Bainimarama and suspended police chief Sitiveni Qiliho are accused of stopping a 2019 police investigation into complaints of financial mismanagement at the University of the South Pacific(USP).

“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,” said Pryde.

The police have also been requested to undertake further investigations into other matters arising from this case and more charges may be laid against other suspects in due course, he said.

Chief of Intelligence, Investigations and Prosecutions and Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Sakeo Raikaci, confirmed the two have been charged with one count of abuse of office each, following the sanctioning of charges by DPP.

He said Bainimarama and Brigadier General Qiliho were brought in for further questioning late Thursday.

“Upon the completion of the questioning via Video Recording Interview, the two were formally charged and kept in custody overnight at the Totogo Police Station”.

The two will be produced at the Suva Magistrates Court Friday morning.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Police Force has reassured the general public that there is no reason to be concerned about public safety following the laying of formal charges against the former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho.

Chief Operations Officer Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Livai Driu said the latest developments have not warranted the need to panic as the security landscape remains calm and manageable.

A/ACP Driu reiterated the Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration Pio Tikoduadua’s statement in that no one should be apprehensive about the security of our nation, as Police have everything under control, and we urge everyone to go about their business as usual.