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Vice president of Bainimarama’s party was convicted of theft

May 13, 2014

Bainimarama and old friends

Coup leader Frank Bainimarama has registered his political party but his pick of officials will lumber him with the same baggage that he’s accused other parties of carrying.

Bainimarama’s named two vice-presidents, one of whom is an ‘old politician’ and to top it off, someone who has been convicted of larceny as a servant and sentenced to three years jail.

Bainimarama and new friends

Bijai Prasad is a former member of the Fiji Labour Party and according to a 1984 Court of Appeal judgement was involved in the theft of $FD20,000 while working as a movement controller at Air Services Ltd in Namaka, in 1982.

The judgement (see link below) shows the money was split with a taxi driver who turned state witness after police found $10,000 buried just outside his house.

Criminal activity in the family ranks also caused a stench around Bainimarama this week with nephew, Sevanaia, being charged with attempted homicide in the United States (see previous story).

The story has been covered by C4.5, media in the United States and Australia and New Zealand, but not Fiji media.

Instead, some media teams have continued to defend their favoured coverage of the illegal leader with a Fiji Sun reporter telling a Media Freedom Day panel discussion at USP: “What we are as a newspaper, and we make no apologies for this, is broadly supportive of the Bainimarama government’s policies. We believe these policies are building a better Fiji. We know these policies have strong, broad, public support.”

Another questionable figure in Fiji First is the illegal attorney general, Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, who has been named general secretary.

Readers will recall we revealed two weeks ago Khaiyum registered the domain name in 2009 and subsequently proceeded to drive the regime’s campaign to manufacture decrees aimed at curtailing the chances of political parties, churches and NGOs in the September election.

The Peoples Democratic Party has meanwhile elected trade unionist, Felix Anthony, as its leader with Anthony taking a diplomatic tack.

“We are not going or wanting to go into government to take revenge for all the ills of the past,” he said.  “We are looking forward and what we are looking at is moving the country forward. If someone’s done wrong or broken the law, we believe there should be an independent judiciary to take its own course, it’s not for the politicians to decide that.”

In the case of another one who has ‘done wrong’, FLP is due to announce its new leader after Mahendra Chaudhry was last week sidelined following the conviction of three breaches of the Exchange Control Act. He is to pay a fine of $2m and to repatriate to Fiji the $1.5m given to him by supporters in India, which he stashed in Australia.

Question: Who paid the $5,0005 to register Fiji First – did it come out of Bainimaraa’ms pockets or Khaiyum’s? Or taxpayers?

Pictures: Top – Bainimarama and his coup army.
Bottom pic: His party officials, Jiko Luveni (president), Tui Macuata, Ratu Wiliame Katonivere and former Fiji Labour Party senator, Bijai Prasad (vice presidents), Sayed-Khaiyum (general secretary), and Vimlesh Kumar (treasurer.)

Source – c4.5, Posted by Rusi Varani for  SWM
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