High Court Upholds Magistrate Court Ruling

Media Team   |   09 Mar 2020

The Suva High Court today upheld the conviction and sentence delivered to a former lawyer in the Suva Magistrates Court in 2018.

Mr Aseri Vakaloloma was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one (1) count of Forgery and was later found guilty and given a sentence of 12 months, which was suspended for two (2) years.

In filing his appeal, Mr Vakaloloma provided five (5) grounds against his conviction and two (2) against the sentence on matters of fact and law and elements of the charge.

Mr Vakaloloma was found guilty of forging the Articles of Association document for BECP Engineering Construction Fiji Limited by making a false page, which altered the particulars of the subscribers and added the name, address and signature of the Fijian Prime Minister, Mr Voreqe Bainimarama.

In delivering the Judgment, High Court Judge Justice Mr Riyaz Hamza concurred that the Magistrate considered the relevant factors in arriving at the sentence imposed which is not harsh, excessive or unreasonable, therefore making the grounds of appeal against sentence without merit.

Furthermore, he concluded that the appeal should stand dismissed and the conviction and sentence imposed by the Magistrates Court be affirmed.