#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Chinese nationals accused of bribing Prasad with cash and Chinese tea

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Chinese nationals accused of bribing Prasad with cash and Chinese tea

A key figure in Fiji's illegal government has appeared as a witness in the court case against two Chinese nationals accused of trying to bribe him in return for a contract for a water project in Savusavu.

The Permanent Secretary for Finance, John Prasad, is giving evidence against Chen Xue Liang and De Chuan Zhao.

The Fiji Village says the men are from the China Huashi Enterprise Fiji Limited, and have pleaded not guilty to one charge of allegedly bribing a public officer in July 2009.

It's believed the two men gave Prasad $6000 and a box of Chinese tea to promote, to procure and to obtain a contract for the water and sewerage upgrade work in Savusavu.

The Fiji Village says Prasad told Judge Justice Salesi Temo that the Media Officer from the Ministry of Works Sainiana Waqainabete called him to arrange a meeting with the two accused as they wanted to discuss a water project with him in his capacity as Permanent Secretary for Finance and Chairman of the Water Authority of Fiji.

Prasad said according to Waqainabete the two wanted to meet him alone and a time was arranged for 5:30 on the afternoon of July 28th last year. He revealed that he met the two in his office at Ro Lalabalavu house in Suva.

Prasad said during the meeting, the two told him about their company and showed him photographs of other projects they have done for the Water department in the past.

Prasad told the court that the two than allegedly gave him a bag containing Chinese tea.

He said after the meeting, while he was walking the two to the exit, Zhao allegedly gave him an envelope containing money.

Prasad says he looked into the envelope and put it in his office and went into another meeting.

The Permanent Secretary for Finance said he then tried to call the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khiayum, failing which he called the Minister for Finance Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama to inform him of the incident as he was not sure how to report the matter.

Prasad said Commodore Bainimarama advised him to try and call the Attorney General again.

He said he managed to get hold of Sayed Khaiyum who then advised him to detail the incident in writing and email to him and also that the money be counted in front of FICAC Officers to verify the amount of cash in the envelope.

Prasad said that evening, he was called by the two accused and he told them that he cannot accept the gift, it was inappropriate and that he will have to report them.

He said while he was in the process of emailing the Attorney General, the two accused sent him text messages.

FICAC lawyer Vincent Parera presented a copy of the text message in court which stated and I quote " I am sorry but I really need your help. I promise that no one knows about the gifts. It is just traditional Chinese gift" end of quote.

Another text message presented in court read and I quote, " I am sorry, I am sorry, I don't know Fiji tradition, this simple Chinese tradition as I want to meet the Prime Minister to introduce my company so I give gift to you" end of quote.

Prasad told the court that from the meeting and what transpired afterwards, he felt that the two accused went to him to induce a bribe to get the contract for the Savusavu water project.

During cross examination by defense counsel Gavin O'Driscoll questioned Prasad on how he was the Chairman of the Water Authority of Fiji at the time of the alleged incident when the Authority was formally set up in January 2010.

O'Driscoll also pointed out that his clients had placed a bid for the contract in question in March 2009 when the alleged incident occurred in July of the same year.-Fiji Village.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Tea Money" is (was?) widespread in Chinese business circles - as Rio Tinto's Stern Hu will (did) testify.

P'fika observer said...

Was your heading meant to be ironic? Tea, as above comment suggests, is a front for the bribe. Do we be believe Prasad - all too conveniengt by sounds of things. Also convenient that he rung Baini and Khaiyum.

In praise of the incorruptible said...

Come on, Prasad reported the matter and the two guiys are on trial. What's "convenient" about that? You should be applauding him for being incorruptible, not raising question marks about his probity.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the bribe was not big enough to be distributed among Baini, Khaiyum, Prasad and other crooks in the regime, hence the two businessmen were shopped - all a publicity stunt - atleast the Chinese businessmen, if we are to believe the regime, were forthright - unlike Prasad who came to the post through the backdoor and on the back of a treasonous coup - he should be in court for his illegal support of the illegal coup - and sent to Naboro o have "tea" with George Speight and others

Anonymous said...

all the more reason to have coup ??...i say...here are the big fish...chinese embassy will be none too pleased having their nationals dragged into court for what others are apparently required to do in china...so far we are delaing with corruptiono na 'massive scale' where we have number a couple of clerks in the public service and some chinese....i do hope that this is not the systematic change that this illegal regime was hoping to stamp out.

Anonymous said...

Bravo...it takes a thief to catch a thief...yeah man no bulls.

Anonymous said...

all the two tube-light chinese men have to say in court is that they gave Prasad $10k and he only submitted $6k for evidence and pocketed $4k for himself. That way he keeps part of the bribe money AND prosecutes these two. The onus will be on Prasad to prove them otherwise as nobody else was present when the gift exchanged hands.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the packets of tea? Were there any biscuits to go with them?

Anonymous said...

That's also shows that this regime is full of corruption so is thugs like John Prasad and there are words in chinese community that business could be obtained by bribing them . This is one of the reason they tried. I know this because I am a chinese too and baini and Aiys have taken more than 6k.

discombobulated said...

Mark my words - this case is already headed for a fizzle. Chinese PM is meeting Fiji's wanna-be PM regarding big AID dollars (maybe) ... so who wants to bet that this case will wrap up soon in exchange for some more Chinese termites?

Anonymous said...

...and the shenanigans continue...
a publicity stunt? ABSOLUTELY!!! Could/Would a leopard lose its spots? SERIOUSLY?

Must be a prelude to another (and another...annnnd another...) DECREE. I wonder what this next one will be about? Drinking tea is illegal as the tea may have been part of contraband??? Oh dear, I will need to tie my guard dogs around my lemon trees...What a comedy...

Anonymous said...

Another twist - the State will now pocket the $6,000 to its dwindling coffers and the Chinese must have been forced to change plea to guilty - to prevent any damaging evidence against Prasad - the conman from New Zealand:

Twist in bribery case
Publish date/time: 11/05/2010 [13:08]

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The bribery case against two Chinese businessman has taken a turn today when the case resumed this morning in the Suva High Court.

The lawyer representing the two accused Chen Xue Liang and De Chuan Zhao of China Huashi Enterprise Fiji Limited, Gavin O'Driscoll informed Justice Salesi Temo that his clients would be willing to take a guilty plea if the current charge against them is amended to a lesser a charge by FICAC.

Chen Xue Liang and De Chuan Zhao of China Huashi Enterprise Fiji Limited are charged with one count of bribery and are alleged to have given Permanent Secretary for Finance, John Prasad $6000 and a box of Chinese tea to promote, to procure and to obtain a contract for the water and sewerage upgrade work in Savusavu.

FICAC Lawyer, Vincent Parera consented to amending the charges and the two are expected to take a plea when the case resumes at 5pm this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Down with the infidels.