Former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner, Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho’s lawyers will challenge the statement of the 16 prosecution witnesses when their trial commences next week.
The matter was called in the Suva Magistrates Court today.
Resident-Magistrate Seini Puamau questioned the lawyers of the two accused on whether the defence intended to cross-examine the witnesses.
Lawyer Gul Fatima told the Court that they intended to interview the witnesses and that out of the 22 documents proposed by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, both parties have agreed to 14, while out of the 21 agreed facts filed, only five have been agreed to.
Acting Director for Public Prosecutions, David Toganivalu told the court that they would file further disclosures and the agreed facts.
He said the agreed facts are still no ready and requested for time till next week.
Bainimarama is charged with a count of attempt to pervert the course of justice, while Qiliho is charged with a count of abuse of office.
It is alleged that Bainimarama sometime in July 2020 as the Prime Minister directed the Police Commissioner to stop the investigation into a police complaint, in the abuse of the authority of his office, which was an arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of the University of the South Pacific which is the complainant.
It is also alleged that Qiliho on the July 15, 2020 as the Police Commissioner directed the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department, Serupepeli Neiko and Inspector Reshmi Dass to stop investigations into the police complaint by the USP, in the abuse of the authority of his office, which was arbitrary act of prejudicial to the rights to USP.
The trial will begin from the 17 to the 20 of July and bail has been further extended for the two.