The Attorney-General Siromi Turaga has defended the Chief Registrar Tomasi Bainivalu, after the Court invoked Section 15(1) (f) of the Sentencing and Penalties Act, 2009, and discharged him without recording a conviction.
In October, the Chief Registrar pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle whilst there was present in his blood system a concentration of alcohol in excess of the prescribed limit – Contrary to Section 103(1) (a) and 114 of the Land Transport Act 1998.
Speaking to FijiLive, the Attorney-General said he was sentenced by the Court of Law, which the Court ruled that Bainivalu was discharged without conviction – That stands.
Turaga said if anyone is aggrieved, they should take up the matter upon appeal.
“Section 15(1) (f) of the Sentencing and Penalties Act, 2009 allows for the discharge of the Chief Registrar without recording the conviction.”
When we asked whether a senior public officer should be held to a much higher standard, the Attorney-General said that the Courts had decided on the matter and that does not mean that a public officer should be any different of anyone else.
Turaga said that Bainivalu is neither the only person nor the first person to have his records discharged without conviction.
“You can express your disagreement, that’s fine. Not every sentenced discharged by the Court is accepted by us or anyone,” Turaga said.
Meanwhile, in October, the Court ruled that its reasons for the non-convictions were that Bainivalu has served faithfully for the State for almost three decades – It was only due to his poor judgement that he had consumed 12.4 milligrams of alcohol more than the legal limit.