Former Prime Minister and Social Democratic Liberal Party Leader (SODELPA) Mr. Sitiveni Rabuka appeared at the Suva Magistrates Court today.
The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) charged Mr. Rabuka with one (1) count of "Providing False Declaration of Assets, Income and Liabilities" under the Political Parties (Registration, Conduct, Funding and Disclosures) Act No. 4 of 2013.
Mr. Rabuka is alleged to have in 2017, provided a false declaration of assets and liabilities to the Supervisor of Elections by failing to provide information pertaining to the tax liability with the Fiji Revenue and Customs Services (FRCS) which amounted to $316,956.20FJD.
He also failed to declare the Investment and interest income with Raghwan Constructions Limited in the amount of $200,000FJD and $16,000FJD respectively and also the liability in the amount of $120,000FJD.
These are contrary to sections 24 (1A) and 24(5) of the above mentioned Act.
FICAC Counsel Mr. Rashmi Aslam appeared with State Counsel Mr. Sam Savumiramira for Prosecution and informed Court that an Expedition Application would be made in view of section 18 (a) of the Electoral Act for the Court to make a prompt decision on this matter and that the full disclosures would be served by next week.
Mr. Rabuka was represented by Mr. Filimoni Vosarogo and Ms. Lynda Tabuya, who requested the Court to grant them two (2) weeks to be able to properly go through the Disclosures.
Mr. Vosarogo stated that they have already filed the Bail Application in court, seeking that the Accused be granted bail. The Prosecution did not object to the Accused being granted bail on conditions agreeable to parties as agreed already.
Mr. Rabuka was released on bail with a bail bond of $300FJD, which was signed by two (2) sureties and must sign in at the Nabua Police Station on the first Saturday of every month between 6 am and 6 pm.
Resident Magistrate Mr. Jioji Boseiwaqa asked the parties if there is any objection to him hearing this matter in view of his father being a school mate of Mr. Rabuka. The parties were given until the next court sitting to consider and inform the court on their respective stance.
A stop departure was also issued with his passport being handed to the Court and the Defence lawyers’ assurance that any movement of their client will be reported to FICAC and the Court.
The matter has been adjourned to 6 June, 2018.