Fiji’s ex-PM Bainimarama, Sayed-Khaiyum charged for abuse of office

Charged with abuse of office and detained overnight
Charged with abuse of office and detained overnight . . . former Fiji prime minister and FijiFirst party leader Voreqe Bainimarama (from left), former attorney-general Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and former health minister Dr Neil Sharma. Image: The Fiji Times

RNZ Pacific

Former Fiji prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama and former Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum are due to appear in court today on a charge related to abuse of office, as is a former health minister Dr Neil Prakash Sharma.

Fiji state broadcaster FBC reported the trio were interviewed by CID officers yesterday for allegedly failing to comply with statutory requirements for tenders.

All three were kept in custody at the Totogo Police Station overnight.

Bainimarama and Sayed-Khaiyum are each accused of recklessly abusing their position by granting a waiver of tender process without lawful justification.

Sayed-Khaiyum is also charged with obstructing the course of justice.

Sharma faces four counts of abuse of office.

The new charge against Bainimarama comes less than four months after he was found not guilty of perverting the course of justice.

In October, according to local media reports, Magistrate Seini Puamau said the state had failed to establish a compelling case.

“According to their charge sheet, it was alleged that Bainimarama sometime in July 2020 as the Prime Minister directed the Police Commissioner to stop the investigation into a police complaint, in the abuse of the authority of his office, which was an arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of the University of the South Pacific which is the complainant,” reported last year.

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

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