Former Acting Inspector of the Fiji Police Force, Mr. Timoci Naulu appeared in the Court of Appeal yesterday to appeal his sentence and conviction.
Naulu was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption with two (2) counts of "Bribery" for soliciting an advantage of $5000 and accepting an advantage of $200FJD and $200AUD in 2013.
He was then found Guilty and sentenced to three (3) years imprisonment, a $1500 fine and a non-parole period of two (2) years.
In making his appeal, Defense counsel, Mr. Eroni Maopa told the Court they were contesting for an Appeal on the grounds of the words “without lawful authority or reasonable excuse” stating that the Prosecution failed to produce evidence which proved Naulu’s actions were executed in that regard.
Furthermore, an Application for Bail was made on the grounds that Naulu’s term of imprisonment and his non‒parole period was coming to an end, hence the application.
In response to this, Justice Mr. William Calanchini reminded the Defense counsel that Applications for Bail should be made in light of exceptional circumstances for Naulu and that the reasons provided did not meet those criteria.
Another issue raised was the $1500 fine imposed on Naulu which Justice Mr. Calanchini said would need to be looked into as it was physically impossible for the fine to be paid immediately after conviction.
It is understood that upon conviction, $1500 would have to be paid up front or Naulu would be “in default” where he would incur an extra 150 days in prison as a penalty.
The decision of the appeal will be ruled on notice.