Ex-FNPF staff re­fused bail

Fiji Sun - - Playing For 29 Depart - Edited by Naisa Koroi AQELA SUSU

The for­mer cus­tomer ser­vice of­fi­cer of the Fiji Na­tional Prov­i­dent Fund (FNPF) was re­fused bail by the Mag­is­trates Court in Suva yes­ter­day Rachael Likutabua Matak­ibau is charged in re­la­tion to the al­leged use of FNPF mem­bers’ disaster as­sis­tance. She is charged with four counts of ob­tain­ing prop­erty by de­cep­tion. She ap­peared be­fore Mag­is­trate Priyan­tha Liyan­age.

The al­leged of­fence took place be­tween March 1 and April 30 this year. Matak­ibau is al­leged to have dis­hon­estly ob­tained $15,600 through the FNPF be­long­ing to four dif­fer­ent re­cip­i­ents with in­tent to per­ma­nently de­prive them. Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Sergeant Luke Qer­awaqa ob­jected to bail say­ing Matak­ibau had been evad­ing Po­lice ar­rest since last Satur­day. He said Matak­ibau should be re­manded in Po­lice cus­tody be­cause she was still be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for other sim­i­lar al­le­ga­tions. How­ever, de­fence lawyer Mehboob Raza, ar­gued that his client had the right to be bailed un­less and un­til it was proved to the con­trary.

He also ar­gued that the al­le­ga­tions were spec­u­la­tions and noth­ing short of pun­ish­ing the ac­cused early rather than com­plet­ing all in­ves­ti­ga­tions and then lay­ing charges. Mag­is­trate Liyan­age or­dered that Matak­ibau be fur­ther re­manded in Po­lice cus­tody be­fore the mat­ter would be called again next Tues­day. He then told the de­fence they could then make a for­mal bail ap­pli­ca­tion.

Photo: Ron­ald Ku­mar

Rai­jeli Matak­ibau out­side court yes­ter­day.

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