The appeal case involving former Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho was called before the Acting Chief Justice Salesi Temo today.

Last month, the Acting Chief Justice Salesi Temo presided over the appeal initiated by the state after the Magistrates Court acquitted the two of their charges.

The former Prime Minister faced allegations of perverting the course of justice, while the suspended Police Commissioner was charged with abuse of office.

During the initial appeal hearing, the Acting Chief Justice found both individuals guilty and directed the Magistrate to proceed with sentencing.

However, last Thursday Magistrate Seini Puamau concluded that there was insufficient evidence to suggest that the two had acted for personal gain.

Magistrate Puamau granted a conditional discharge to Bainimarama, while Qiliho was fined $1,500 (US$750).

Later that day, the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, John Rabuku filed appeal on four grounds stating that that the sentence delivered by Magistrate Puamau was unsatisfactory and wrong both in fact and in law, and does not reflect the considerations and tariffs of cases or matters of similar nature.

He also stated that the sentences imposed by the Magistrate against both Bainimarama and Qiliho were lenient and in breach of sentencing principles, case laws, and the tariff set in other similar matters and offenses.

He further stated that Puamau erred in law when she ruled that there were no aggravating factors against the respondents.

Bainimarama and Qiliho were represented by Gul Fatima and were given until 24 April to file their submission and the State to reply by 29 April.

The matter will be called on 02nd May for appeal hearing.

State counsel Laisani Tabuakuro noted there was application for bail and requested that they be remanded. However, this was objected by Fatima.

Acting Chief Justice Salesi Temo said there was no reason to remand the two as they were present in court on every sitting

Meanwhile, Justice Temo revealed that he will consider whether to institute contempt of court proceedings against Suva Magistrate Seini Puamau.

He made the comments as the appeal matter involving Bainimarama and Qiliho was heard in the High Court.

Acting CJ Temo said that four options are available to the High Court.

This includes activating contempt proceedings, referring her to the police for refusing a lawful order of the high court, recommending to the president for a tribunal to hear allegations of misbehaviour, or for her to resign.