Reddy Appeal Heard at High Court

Media Team   |   15 May 2018

The Appeal Hearing for the former Education Minister was held at the Suva High Court on Monday.

Mr. Mahendra Reddy was acquitted of one (1) count each of "Bribery" and "Undue Influence" last December by Chief Magistrate Mr. Usaia Ratuvili.

In making their Appeal, Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) Prosecutor Mr. Rashmi Aslam laid out eight (8) grounds of Appeal which consisted of purely legal matters and breaches of laws and facts.

Mr. Aslam appealed to the Court to consider a Re-trial as this is a matter of public interest as it impacts on democracy and the rights of the public.

He stated that Mr. Reddy’s comments infringed on the lawful political rights of individuals by his statement which insinuated that the basic right of water would only be provided if he was voted for in the upcoming elections.

It was alleged that Mr. Reddy, in May 2017, directly offered to provide a steady water source to Ra High School in order to influence the vote of Mr. Waisea Lebobo, the school Manager.

It was also alleged that he interfered with the free exercise or performance of the political rights of Mr. Lebobo.

In Monday’s submissions, Mr. Aslam said it was important for the Court, in making decisions concerning matters such as these, to view and analyse all evidence in an objective manner.

Mr. Devanesh Sharma, who represented Mr. Reddy highlighted the inconsistencies in the evidence of Mr. Lebobo and urged the Court to view everything in the correct context.

He pleaded with the Court to dismiss the Appeal and not consider a Re-trial as it had already negatively impacted the life of his client.

The Appeal was heard by Justice Mr. Vinsent Perera with the Judgement expected on 22 June 2018.