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RNZ Pacific

Fiji’s top prosecutor has sanctioned charges of abuse of office against former prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama and the suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho.

In a statement today, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said the charges relate to a complaint filed by the University of the South Pacific in July 2019.

The complaint concerned the actions of former staff members of the regional university.

Former Fiji prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama today
Former Fiji prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama today . . . charged. Image: Fijivillage News

Public Prosecutions director Christopher Pryde said both men were alleged to have arbitrarily abused their powers and stopped an active police investigation.

Police have been ordered to further investigate other issues as a result of Bainimarama and Qiliho’s alleged interference and more charges are expected to be laid.

Meanwhile, both men were taken in today for further questioning by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

Kept in custody
Fijivillage News reports
that Bainimarama and Qiliho have both been formally charged with abuse of office and will be kept in custody tonight.

The CID chief and Acting Assistant Police Commissioner Sakeo Raikaci told a media conference tonight they would appear in the Suva Magistrates Court at 8am tomorrow.

Acting ACP Raikaci said that given the seriousness of the charge, the pair could not be granted bail as it was not a bailable offence.

Additional security will be provided for the special court sitting tomorrow.

The maximum penalty for abuse of office is 10 years imprisonment.

The Crimes Act states that if the act is done or directed to be done for gain, then the maximum penalty is 17 years imprisonment.

Republished with permission.

Voreqe Bainimarama and Sitiveni Qiliho formally charged. Video: Fijivillage News

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