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Driti faces music while others dance free

November 26, 2013

Royal waves and smiles – what a circus.

Hong Kong counsel Audrey Campbell-Moffat and fellow prosecution lawyer Jose D’Almadas Remedios outside the High Court in Suva yesterday during the Pita Driti trial.

Campbell-Moffat’s playing to the gallery is a sample of the charade being played out in court during the four-day trial.

The presiding judge is Paul Madigan but the director of public prosecutions, Christopher Pryde, has not been far and there has been the obvious meeting of eyes, nods and knowing smiles and sarcasm between the pair and the prosecuting team.

It has been said before and will be repeated many more times: there is no rule of law in Fiji so there is no guarantee of a fair trial for Driti or any ‘enemy of the state’, unless it suits the regime hierarchy to do otherwise.

Information making its way to C4.5 suggests the illegal leader has taken particular interest in Driti’s case and word has it the dictator has told bodyguards ‘just let the case go on so everyone can see that anyone can go to court.’

The summing up is currently underway and Madigan is due to give his verdict tomorrow but we note the regime has no hard evidence such as recordings or footage of meetings or such like.

It has only the testimonies of four witnesses who have backsides and careers to save, including Jone Kalouniwai, the former head of RFMF intelligence and the man who succeeded Roko Ului Mara as commander of the 3FIR unit, Lt Colonel Manasa Tagicakibau, and Driti’s own caution interview.

Colonel Mohammed Aziz was shuffled out of the country so has not had to give evidence.

AZIZ: Spared by Bainimarama.

Centre stage, though, has been the much hated illegal attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, and the claim the plot was against both him and Bainimarama.

Many were not surprised to hear in court the mention of Khaiyum’s corrupt dealings and how the concerns were waved away by Bainimarama.

Khaiyum is gunning for Driti to be convicted and sent to jail but is widely reviled so it’s not surprising more whistleblowers have since contacted C4.5 with information about his outside-the-law ventures.

We’ve been told that while while he was acting prime minister, Khaiyum approved an exemption of tax and duty for a friend, a taxi operator, allowing the businessman to escape fees on vehicles brought into the country from Europe, which are five years or older, saving him thousands of dollars.

A former investigator for FICAC, the anti-corruption unit set up by Frank Bainimarama, is also now exposing the in-house hypocrisy and corruption.

KHAIYUM: Most corrupt.

Simione Cagilaba has turned to the illegal president (just as Driti and co apparently planned to do), to seek redress, urging him to investigate FICAC.

Cagilaba says he was sacked unfairly and says FICAC has blocked him getting other work since May after failing to pin false charges on him, following a secret investigation.

In a letter to Epeli Nailatikau the disenchanted investigator says he was the victim of a smear campaign and while he was cleared of any crime in the Nasinu court, his pay was cut from $28,000 to $18,000 and he eventually lost his job, while other investigating officers, guilty of real crime, continue to go unpunished.

In the letter seen by C4.5, Cagilaba writes:

“…  It now make’s me raise the question as why Registry Officer Isimeli Rabuku can get away with his extra marital affairs and abuse of office case whilst setting up the Lautoka office, Mr James Sinclair for his soliciting for money in return for a particular complaint to be dealt with, Ms Siteri Rabici stealing from a Private dwelling house being searched through the execution of a Search Warrant, other officer(s) using FICAC SW’s to obtain private information for their private use, other officers for demanding and receiving benefit from the owner of the T.F Jan Company in Ba, making false declarations to PSC, aiding a wanted person to enter and exit Fiji, abuse of FICAC vehicles by drivers, etc etc…”

In the same letter he says: “… this clearly highlights the lack of transparency and know how in running such a dignified and professional body like FICAC where conforming to government’s standard procedure of internal investigation etc was simply shoved aside and whereby the two man panel consisting of Mj Narawa and Mr Ralulu simply took part in almost all the processes which does not give a single benefit to me to defend myself even for once or for themselves to remain independent and to make deliberations once formal interviews are completed by the investigators.”

In the letter, Cagilaba tells Nailatikau that unfortunately for him he was not with ‘RFMF or the Fiji Police to have any guardian within FICAC and as a civilian’ had been isolated and put on a leash from the time he joined in 2008.

Source – c4.5; Posted by Rusiate Varani for SWM


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