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Traill further testifies in ex PM, Qiliho`s trial

Director Assurance and Compliance at the University of the South Pacific, Dulari Doras Traill, who is a key witness in the trial of former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho testified that she did not help Vice Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia in preparing any report.

When cross examined by defence lawyer Devanesh Sharma during the second day of the trial at the Magistrates Court in Suva today, Traill said Prof Ahluwalia had his own team of executive officers that helped to put the report together with the help from the other stakeholders, particularly from the HR office.

She said the report was given to her on 6 March 2019 and the instruction to investigate the matter was given to her by the Executive Committee (EC) of Council that met on 6 March 2019.

Traill said the requirement of the meeting was to investigate the matter and the Executive Committee (EC) of Council told her that the investigation into the criminal matters had already started and she had to report them to Police.

She said the EC resolved that the paper remain extremely confidential and be handed back to the VCP and director assurance compliance for safekeeping and that the document was for the committee only and the internal unit would carry out with due diligence before coming back to the committee for its deliberation.

Traill said she did not circulate the report to Police and her understanding of the resolution about keeping strictly confidential was more around ensuring that the due process of investigation which they gave her was carried out in a very discreet manner.

She said she was never asked to draft a statement for the executive committee members and neither did she draft any statement as well.

Traill went on to say that when she was asked to pick the documents from the EC, she was then asked to conduct an investigation and validate all the allegations made in the paper and report to the next EC Council meeting in April.

She said they started to do the preliminary inquiries and did not prepare a report for the EC Council on 17 April 2019 after they had reported the matter to FICAC.

Traill highlighted that as the Director of Quality Assurance and Compliance, she had a duty of care to the university for the law enforcement to come in and deal with the matter that was outside her ability to control and after they reported the matter to FICAC, she withheld all the reports and gave a verbal report to the EC on the same day.

She added the approach to the matter was then decided in her presence and the outcome was that they would continue the internal investigation and Police would only focus on the criminal matters, and what they submitted to FICAC were cases established that money was paid out without authorisation of university policies to persons entitled to receive the payments.

When questioned by Sharma that an allegation was made by Professor Ahluwalia that FICAC had leaked the report on social media, Trail said she wasn’t aware of that report being leaked and was made aware later.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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