Lawyer and Client Guilty of Forgery

Media Team   |   24 Jul 2018

A Suva based lawyer, Mr. Aseri Vakaloloma and his client and businessman Mr. Benjamin Padarath were charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one (1) count each of "Forgery" in 2011.

The two Accused persons forged the Articles of Association for BECP Engineering Construction Fiji Limited creating a false document namely the page 27 of the article of association of the said company by inserting the name, address and the signature of Mr. Voreqe Bainimarama as the Director of the company.

The forged document was found in the bedroom of the 2nd Accused Benjamin Padarath.

The offences occurred between October and December of 2009.

During the trial, FICAC adduced evidence of 3 witnesses and the caution interviews of both the Accused. Mr Aseri Vakaloloma gave evidence in his defense whilst Mr Padarath opted to remain silent.

In reading out the Judgment, Chief Magistrate Mr. Usaia Ratuvili said the State successfully proved the charges against both the Accused persons.

Mr. Filimoni Vosarogo, who represents the first Accused, informed the court that two (2) character witnesses will be appearing as part of their mitigation for Mr Vakaloloma.

Ms. Barbara Malimali said a written mitigation would be given for her client, Mr Padarath.

FICAC Prosecutor Mr. Rashmi Aslam appeared for FICAC and informed that the prosecution will file a written sentencing submission.

Bail has been extended for both of the Accused.

The matter has been adjourned to 31 July 2018 for Mitigation and Sentencing submissions to be given.