A petition of appeal was today filed in the case regarding the acquitted former employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs charged with corruption related offences.
The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) filed four (4) grounds of appeal to ultimately seek the quashing of the acquittal and the reinstatement of the court proceedings.
Azreen Shabnam Khan was charged with one (1) count each of Abuse of Office, Obtaining Financial Advantage, Causing a Loss and Giving False Information to Public Servant.
On 9 November this year, she was acquitted in the Magistrates Court after an application by FICAC to vacate the trial dates, due to the unavailability of the three (3) main witnesses who are stranded in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was refused.
FICAC appeals the decision taken by the Learned Magistrate on the grounds that the Learned Magistrate erred in law and fact by wrongly exercising the Court’s judicial discretion in refusing to allow the adjournment.
FICAC also appeals on the basis that the Learned Magistrate misconceived the facts and considered hearsay evidence in refusing to grant an adjournment of the matter.
Furthermore, the third ground is that the Learned Magistrate wrongly applied section 14(2)(g) of the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji of 2013 in stating that an adjournment would be highly prejudicial to the rights of Khan.
Lastly, FICAC argues that the Learned Magistrate erred in law by considering the application for No Case to Answer by the Defence and acquitting the Accused under section 178 of the Criminal Procedure Act.