Bail Pending Sentence Denied for Katia

Media Team   |   16 Aug 2018

The Suva High Court yesterday refused the Bail application made by the former Acting Deputy Official Receiver.

Mr. Viliame Katia was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with eleven (11) counts of corruption offences in 2016 which resulted in the loss of $4.1million FJD.

He was convicted and sentenced accordingly in the Magistrates Court last June to fourteen (14) years imprisonment.

However, an appeal filed and won by FICAC in June this year rendered the previous sentence quashed with Mr. Katia to be sentenced again in the High Court because of the severity of his crimes and the inability of the Magistrates Court to punish him accordingly.

Prior to the hearing, High Court Judge Justice Mr. Salesi Temo reminded Mr. Romanu Vananalagi, who represents Mr. Katia that exceptional circumstances like the restitution of the $4.1million dollars would have to be provided for bail to be granted.

Yesterday, however, Mr. Vananalagi informed the Court that there is no likelihood of recovering that money as the period of the offending was seven (7) years.

To this, Justice Temo said that for a person living in Fiji, it was impossible to spend that much within that time period.

FICAC Prosecutor Mr. Rashmi Aslam highlighted that the matters surrounding this case was unique and that the risk of Mr. Katia absconding his bail and posing as a flight risk was high if bail was granted.

Furthermore, he emphasized that there is no undue delay in the processes of the court as the timetable for the filing of submissions and the date for sentencing has already been set.

Upon consideration of the submissions by both counsels, Justice Temo informed them that bail was denied.

The matter has been adjourned to 14 September 2018 for written reasons to be given and for the Sentencing Hearing.

Katia’s Charges:

- Three (3) counts of "Abuse of Office for Gain"

- Four (4) counts of "Forgery"

- One (1) count of "Embezzlement by Servant"

- One (1) count of "False Information to Public Servant"

- One (1) count of "Unauthorised Modification of Data", and;

- One (1) count of "Obtaining a Financial Advantage"