A former school manager was acquitted of one charge but told to answer for the second charge in a Ruling delivered in the Suva High Court today.
Former Bhawani Dayal Memorial Primary School (BDMPS) Manager Mr. Kamlesh Arya was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) in 2017 with one (1) count each of Abuse of Office and General Dishonesty – Causing a Loss.
Regarding the first charge, High Court Judge Justice Mr. Riyaz Hamza acquitted the Accused, stating that Prosecution had failed to provide any relevant or admissible evidence to establish the essential ingredient of the offence of Abuse of Office.
This was whether or not Mr. Arya, as the School Manager of BDMPS was employed in the Public Service and so there was no case to answer.
With regards to the second charge, Justice Hamza ruled that there was some relevant and admissible evidence which touched on all the ingredients of the offence of General Dishonesty – Causing a Loss and that there was a case to answer.
Moreover, he stated that the truthfulness of Mr. Arya’s statements in his Caution Interview, as well as determining what weight to attach to the admissions made, could not be decided at this stage, especially since the Accused was not challenging its admissibility and even admitted to making the statements.
Defence counsel Dr. Gregory Woods QC requested that the case resume tomorrow and informed the Court that they would be calling two (2) witnesses who would provide character statements and evidence on the documents provided by Prosecution.
The matter was adjourned to 7 May 2019 for the continuation of the Defence case.