And yet both were heard discussing openly the details of the pending Court of Appeal case at a workshop (March 16, 2010) two months before it was called, with Shameem coaching then DPP Aca Rayawa and cautioning him with the words: I won’t be there to convict Kunatuba.
Goundar – then a sitting judge and an appellate judge – also participated in the workshop and his words were: And I won’t be there to prosecute Kunatuba.
The workshop discussed at length how Rayawa, who the regime later fired, would respond to the appeal and what he would use.
Shameem gave him all her thoughts of the trial and why she had Kunatuba convicted by tailoring her summing up.
The Appeal Court got wind of the nuances of Shameem and Goundar, hence the reference to them only by title. (see 5.0 below)
Kunatuba was guilty (the corrupt regime re-employed him in the public service in a senior position reporting to Frank Bainimarama under the Prison's Yellow Ribbon Campaign!) but was it right for the judge who presided over the case in the High Court to openly discuss it with DPP prosecutors and Goundar?
Do judges who have retired or as in this case - have been sacked - openly decide how and why they presided over a particular case? Is this not a case of perverting the course of justice?
The question that must be asked of Goundar is: how could he as a sitting judge attend a workshop at the DPP’s office and comment on the Kunatuba appeal case, which was before Court? Is this ethical conduct?
And isn't the Kunatuba case the one that helped get Goundar appointed to the High Court, compliments of Shameem?
Furthermore, what will Tony Gates do about this? Will he pull Goundar or let this one also go as he did the Bano conflict of interest case?
And if Shameem and Goundar can talk so freely at a workshop about who presided and will not now preside and who prosecuted and will now not be there to prosecute the appeal, what guarantee is there they didn’t discuss the matter when it was being prosecuted in the High Court?
But most importantly, if they can comment so freely about someone who is close to the regime, what are they likely to hatch about regime opponents?
|The office of the DPP is listed as clients on the website for Nazhat Shameem's law firm. The picture above with Daniel Goundar and Anthony Gates (left and middle) is the main pic on her client's page. pic Law Fiji|
Kunatuba v State  FJCA 17; AAU0067.2006 (5 May 2010)
IN THE COURT OF APPEAL,
Criminal Appeal AAU 0067 of 2006
Coram: Byrne, AP
Counsel: I. Fa for the Appellant
A. Rayawa and Ms S. Puamau for the Respondent
Dates of Hearing: 23rd, 24th March 2010
Date of Judgment: 5th May 2010
JUDGMENT OF THE COURT
[1.0] Between the 25th of September and 14th of November 2006, the appellant stood trial in the High Court at Suva on two counts of abuse of office pursuant to Section 111 of the former Penal Code.
[2.0] Count 1 alleged that the appellant between the 6th of July 2000 and the 13th of August 2001 at Suva, being employed as Permanent Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests abused his office by dishonestly implementing an Affirmative Action Farming Assistance Scheme without authority for the purpose of gain for himself and others which allowed payments to Suncourt Hardware, Morris Hedstrom, Asco Motors, Repina Wholesalers and R.C.Manubhai and Company, thereby prejudicing the rights of the Government of Fiji.
[3.0] Count 2 alleged that between the 6th of July 2000 and the 31st of December 2001 at Suva in abuse of his office he did an arbitrary act, namely dishonestly, deliberately and persistently breached the rules and procedures regarding the expenditure of public funds under the Finance Act and for the purpose of gain allowed payment to the same companies.
[4.0] The Penal Code defined the offence of abuse of office in the following words:
"Any person who, being employed in the public service, does or directs to be done, in abuse of the authority of his office, any arbitrary act prejudicial to the rights of another, is guilty of a misdemeanour".
[5.0] The trial was conducted before the then Senior Puisne Judge of the High Court. The Prosecutor was the then Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions who is now the Senior Puisne Judge of the High Court. Counsel for the Accused, the present appellant, was an experienced lawyer in Fiji who in 2008 received an award from the Fiji Law Society for being the best lawyer in Fiji for 2007