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Court refuses bail pending appeal for Prakash

The Fiji Court of Appeal has refused bail pending appeal filed by former Member of Parliament, Vijendra Prakash.

However the court has directed for the hearing of the two grounds of appeal in the May session.

Prakash was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one count of False Information to a Public Servant and one count of Obtaining Financial Advantage.

Prakash who was a sitting Member of Parliament at the time of the offence had given false information to the then Acting Secretary General to Parliament of Fiji, Viniana Namosimalua regarding his residential address and by doing so, obtained a financial advantage amounting to $33,000 in allowances.

He was found guilty and convicted on both counts on 9 December 2022 and was sentenced to thirty-six months imprisonment of which eight months was suspended for a period of five years and the remaining twenty-eight months to be served as a custodial sentence with a non-parole period of twenty-two months.

An application for Leave to Appeal against conviction and sentence and bail pending appeal was filed by Prakash within the thirty days period for which an appeal can be filed.

The Court had refused the Leave to Appeal for Grounds two to twenty-seven but had allowed the Leave to Appeal for Grounds one and twenty-eight.

The Leave to Appeal for Ground One was in relation to the trial judge who had erred in law by failing to provide Prakash the opportunity to provide evidence and Ground Twenty-Eight on the transfer of the matter from Magistrates Court to the High Court.

On the appeal against sentence, the Court stated that the sentence is fair in recognising the mitigating factors which was the reason for the partially suspended sentence, therefore, the leave to appeal against sentence is refused.

The matter is listed before the full court in the May session this year to hear the two grounds of appeal.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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