Namosimalua takes the stand

Fomer FijiFirst member of Parliament Vijendra Prakash at the High Court in Suva. Picture: ATU RASEA/FILE

Former secretary general to Parliament Viniana Namosimalua took the witness stand in the trial of former government MP Vijendra Prasad yesterday.

The case of the former FijiFirst MP by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) continued in the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court in Suva before High Court judge Justice Thushara Kumarage.

Ms Namosimalua said all MPs took an oath of allegiance to obey and uphold the Fijian Constitution and that MPs were required to put their details on the MP declaration form (MPDF), otherwise they would not be eligible to claim travel and accommodation allowances, as stipulated under the Parliamentary Remuneration Act 2013.

She said when MPs filled and signed the forms they were delivered to her office where she checked them to see if all the fields were filled in and passed them on to the finance office which would process any claims.

She also said the forms were explained to MPs at a parliamentary workshop organised by Parliament and UNDP.

Ms Namosimalua said in a letter to Mr Prakash his base salary was $50,000 like other backbenchers, while ministers and assistant ministers were paid separately. He was also entitled to $200 per day for committee sittings and overseas travel.

In cross examination defence lawyer Siddharth Nandan asked her if she verified any of the information on the MPDFs and Ms Namosimalua said she did not.

The trial continues today.

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