Trial begins for ex-Fiji PM Bainimarama and suspended police chief

Fiji's former Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and the suspended police commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho are back in court today for the start of their corruption trial.

The charge being brought against Bainimarama is attempting to pervert the course of justice and Qiliho is facing one count of abuse of office.

The allegations are related to a complaint filed by the University of the South Pacific in July 2019 concerning the actions of former staff members of the regional university.

According to the public prosecution office, Bainimarama and Qiliho are alleged to have arbitrarily and in abuse of the authority of their respective offices directed for the termination of an active investigation.

According to, in July 2020, the then prime minister Bainimarama allegedly directed the police commissioner Qiliho to stop the investigation into the complaint.

It is alleged that Qiliho on the July 15, 2020 as the Police Commissioner directed Criminal Investigations Department director Serupepeli Neiko and inspector Reshmi Dass to stop investigations into the police complaint by the USP, in the abuse of the authority of his office, which was arbitrary act of prejudicial to the rights to USP.

Bainimarama and Qiliho are represented by R Patel Lawyers Devanesh Sharma and Gul Fatima while acting director of public prosecutions Ratu David Toganivalu is representing the State.

The trial which was scheduled to start at 10.30am on Monday local time is set down for two weeks.