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Rabuka free to contest election after acquittal


Oct 26, 2018 07:17:46 PM

Rabuka free to contest election after acquittal Former Prime Minister and SODELPA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka was today acquitted by the Magistrates Court in Suva and is now confirmed to contest the 2018 General Election.

Rabuka was not found guilty of charges relating to the declaration of his assets and liabilities as required under the Political Parties Act.

Magistrate Jioji Boseiwaqa while delivering his judgment said the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the elements of the offence and both the defense and prosecution was tasked to determine whether Rabuka’s failure to not declare was either deliberate or an oversight.

He stated that the court had to look at the other elements of whether SODELPA was a registered political party and whether it was an oversight or deliberate, and after looking at the evidence, it was found that the prosecution has failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that SODELPA is a registered political party.

Rabuka was charged by FICAC for providing false declaration of Assets, Income and Liabilities to the Supervisor of Elections contrary to the Political Party Act 2013.

It was alleged that he failed to provide information pertaining to tax liability with the Fiji Revenue and Customs Services which amounted to over $316,000 and he also failed to declare Investment and interest income from Raghwan Constructions Limited in the amount of $200,000 and $16,000 respectively and also a liability in the amount of $120,000.

The alleged incident occurred on the 29th of December last year.

Rabuka was represented by Queen Counsel Ian Lloyd, Filimone Vosarogo and Lynda Tabuya.

In the second case, Rabuka is charged with the alleged breach of his bail conditions and he is also to have spoken to a FICAC witness in the case.

Defence lawyer Filimoni Vosarogo informed court that he would be liaising with FICAC on whether they would proceed with the matter.

The case has been adjourned to November 23.

By Reginald Chandar


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