High Court Grants Appeal Withdrawal

Media Team   |   04 Jul 2019

The Suva High Court granted the dismissal of appeals of three (3) men convicted of various corruption related offences last week.

Mr. Feroz Jan Mohammed had applied to withdraw his appeal on his conviction and sentence of eight (8) years after being found guilty of one (1) count each of Bribery of Public Officials, Obtaining a Financial Advantage and Perverting the Course of Justice and was sentenced in 2015.

His case involved the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) Scam whereby $3.1 million dollars FJD which was supposed to be used for the development of the Nausori Highlands, was lost due to corruption.

The second appeal dismissal granted was to Mr. Iliesa Turagacati who was appealing against his conviction.

He is currently serving his sentence of six (6) years after being found guilty of one (1) count each of Receiving a Bribe and Causing a Loss.

He was also involved in the FRA Scam and had received and made payments which breached policies and procedures amounting to over three (3) million FJD.

Lastly, Mr. Mahendra Motibhai Patel who was convicted and sentenced in absentia on one (1) count of Abuse of Office in 2014 had appealed against his conviction and sentence.

He was the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Post Fiji Limited who extended the contract of a Managing Director without the approval of the Board.

He is yet to serve his sentence of 12 months as he has not returned to Fiji since his case was brought before the court.

In delivering the Rulings on the three (3) cases respectively, Court of Appeal Judge Justice William Calanchini said that under the circumstances, the application to abandon the appeal should be granted and the appeals dismissed.