FIJI NEWS
June 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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The High Court in Suva will decide on July 11 whether to continue court proceedings against Fiji National Provident Fund deputy general manager Foana Nemani.

Judge Justice Priyantha Fernando will make a decision after going through the submissions made by the prosecution.

Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption Rashmi Aslam yesterday made an application for trial in absentia due to the continued absence of Nemani from court.

She alleged that Nemani had voluntarily absconded and her conduct has constituted a waiver of her rights to be present for trial.

The court heard that the accused had also not taken any interest in the case since she left the country.

Aslam informed the court that there was no provision in the Fiji Criminal Procedures Decree concerning a trial in absentia except for section 171 mentioning a hearing in the absence of the defendant in a Magistrates Court.

She said that holding a trial in the absence of an accused is at the discretion of the trial judge which should be exercised with care but reasoned that taking up a trial in absentia is not a violation of fair trial principles stated in article 14 (3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

By Keresi Nauwakarawa

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