But in his Statutory Declaration of Assets under Aiyaz Khaiyum's Decree Ashneel Sudhakar declared that his total annual income as a Barrister and Solicitor with Krishna and Co was $50,000 and Shailend Krishna certified that it was 'the true sum'
Meanwhile, Election Supervisor Mohammed Saneem had time to appear as a State witness in the trial of the suspended Opposition Whip Ratu Isoa Tikoca who is charged with failing to declare his liabilities before the 2014 general election.
The alleged offence took place between August 20 and August 25, 2014. It is alleged that upon his nomination by the Social Democratic Liberal Party as a candidate for the 2014 election, he failed to declare the liability and the amount of the liability to the registrar and permanent secretary responsible for the election.
Ratu Isoa is alleged to have incurred more than $94,000 in debt to the Fijian Government during his tenure as Fiji's High Commissioner to PNG.
Saneem told the court the only debt Ratu Isoa had declared was for a car. Saneem said he was notified by the Finance Ministry of the outstanding debt in February 2015 and reported it to Fiji's anti corruption agency FICAC.
From Fijileaks Archive, 28 April 2015:
Bainimarama: Pay Kubuabola's medical bill of $165,000 to New York Presbyterian Hospital
FLP: Bainimarama is now collecting $3000 or more per day on overseas trips
"The PM is now collecting $3000 or more per day when on overseas trips. This money is tax free and is paid in advance. So, when he takes a 10 day trip to, say, the Middle East for some obscure reason, he would be paid at least $30,000 before he flies out of Nadi." - Fiji Labour Party
Prime Minister Bainimarama has been criticised for spending more time abroad than in Fiji in the past four months.
People have commented that his travel itinerary appears to have been revised after last September when MPs voted huge increases to their overseas traval and local sitting allowances.
The PM is now collecting $3000 or more per day when on overseas trips. This money is tax free and is paid in advance. So, when he takes a 10 day trip to, say, the Middle East for some obscure reason, he would be paid at least $30,000 before he flies out of Nadi.
In his New Year’s message to the nation he took great pains to explain why it would be necessary for him to spend so much time away from Fiji attending to work related to COP 23 in Germany next November.
We do not accept his explanation that he needs to travel overseas to attend to all matters related to COP 23. We have highly paid and well trained officials for such nitty gritty work – that is what they are there for.
Besides, we have diplomatic missions in most countries that are likely to play a role of any importance in COP 23.
PM Bainimarama should learn to delegate work to our bureaucrats and diplomatic missions. In this day and age, much can be done through skilful use of modern communications technology without having to undertake unnecessary travel.
We would also like to know if COP 23 will met the travel expenses of the PM which we think should be the case. In that event, PM must not make a claim on our Treasury.
The Finance Ministry should undertake an audit of all official ministerial overseas travel expenditure to ensure that ministers are not double dipping by claiming allowances here while their expenses abroad are met by the sponsors or host governments.