Nasinu Town Council Scam: High Court Drama Unfolds

Four individuals accused of involvement in a scam at the Nasinu Town Council in 2020 appeared before the High Court in Suva yesterday for a pre-trial conference.

Former information officer Pauliasi Bainivalu and three directors of an IT company called Innovative Technology—Shiu Raman, Razia Bibi, and Eliki Bola—stood before Judge Usaia Ratuvili facing charges related to bribery offences amounting to $370,000 from the council.

During the hearing, the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) lawyer, Josann Pene, informed the court that the lawyer representing Raman, Bibi, and Bola had disagreed with all evidence presented by FICAC in their last meeting.

Defense lawyer Jioji Cakau explained to the court that the responses he provided last Friday were those he received from his clients. He mentioned that he had met with his clients on the morning of the hearing in an attempt to convince them, but they remained resolute in their responses to the trial bundle presented by Ms. Pene.

Mr. Cakau requested another pre-trial conference to further persuade his clients about the trial bundle presented by FICAC. Justice Ratuvili expressed concern that this was prolonging the proceedings, which needed to be addressed promptly. The matter was adjourned to August 8, and the trial is scheduled to take place from August 13 to 30.

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