Terrorist's Lawyer Charged
Terrorist's Lawyer Charged
Issue No: 851 14 June 2001
Terrorist George Speight's lawyer Navin Naidu has been charged with 3 criminal counts and will be appearing in Suva Magistrate's Court today.
Naidu is charged with perverting the cause of justice, tendering forged documents, and making false statements on oath. He was arrested on Tuesday evening and held in custody at the Lautoka police station on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. This morning he was transferred to Suva under police guard. Naidu was arrested after police was tipped that he was trying to escape from the country with the help of relatives of terrorists.
It is expected that terrorist Tevita Bukarau will also be charged with aiding and abetting Naidu.
Bukarau was released from Nukulau detention and treason charges dropped in a deal made between the Police Commissioner Isikia Savua and the Chief Justice Sir Timoci Tuivaga. Tuivaga's brother is a Savua loyalist while Bukarau is Tuivaga's nephew. Tuivaga headed the inquiry which cleared Savua of links with terrorists. Bukarau was hired by the Native Lands Trust Board as soon as he was released. Some senior NLTB officers, including its Manager Maika Qarikau and Secretary Niko Nawaikula, are also closely linked to the terrorists.
Corruption Rising Under Qarase
Issue No: 852 14 June 2001
Corruption in the Laisenia Qarase regime has been rising astronomically.
The latest scam revealed has been the hiring of an expatriate with close links to a regime Minister, as a consultant.
The expatriate is alleged to have even stayed at the home of the regime's Minister for Women Adi Teimumu Kepa. At the time she did not have a valid work permit.
A work permit was acquired for the expatriate under suspicious circumstances. She was then given a lucrative consultancy job at the same ministry. Funds from the poverty alleviation fund were diverted to pay for her fee.
The elected Minister for Women, Lavenia Padarath has hit out at the scam. Padarath stated that the job could have been easily done by locals. She also questioned the use of poverty alleviation funds to pay the consultant, saying aid funds could have been tapped to pay for the fee if a consultant was genuinely needed.
Kepa has been slammed by the NGO's. The Fiji Times has also slammed the decision to use poverty funds for the consultant.
Kepa has announced that she will contest the August elections in Rewa.
Meanwhile another regime minister has joined the election race. The one-time respected diplomat, Kaliopate Tavola, who had earlier stated that he would not contest the election, announced yesterday that he was considering contesting the Suva Open or the Lami Open seats under Qarase's new party.
The regime has been using state funds to campaign for the elections scheduled for August.