24th October 06:04 PM
Dr Reddy has a case to answer
By Vijay Narayan and Anamika Singh
Friday 22/09/2017
Former Education Minister Doctor Mahendra Reddy has a case to answer in relation to the charges laid against him

Former Education Minister Doctor Mahendra Reddy has a case to answer in relation to the charges laid against him.

The defence will now present its evidence from next Tuesday.

Doctor Reddy is the only defence witness to take the stand in the case.

Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili delivered the ruling on Doctor Reddy’s No Case To Answer application earlier this afternoon.

Doctor Reddy’s lawyer Devanesh Sharma had filed the No Case To Answer application after FICAC finished with its case.

While delivering his ruling today, Chief Magistrate Ratuvili said that at this stage of the proceedings it is for the court to make a determination whether the state has provided relevant and admissible evidence supporting each element of the charge.

He said in looking at the evidence before the court, I find that the state has made out a prima facie case sufficient to the put the accused to his defence.

Chief Magistrate Ratuvili said that he will assess the evidence in its entirety at the end of the trial.

It is alleged that Doctor Mahendra Reddy, on or about 8th May this year, in Rakiraki, in order to influence the vote of Waisea Lebobo, the Manager of Ra High School, directly conferred or offered to confer a benefit namely a steady water source for Ra High School.

It is also alleged that Doctor Reddy on or about 8th May this year, in Rakiraki, interfered with the free exercise or performance of a political right of Waisea Lebobo that is relevant to the 2018 election.

Doctor Reddy has pleaded not guilty to one count of bribery and one count of undue influence.

The maximum penalty for each count upon conviction is a fine not exceeding $50,000 or a prison term not exceeding 10 years. 

 
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