Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Teleni Ordered Tampering of Outspoken Justice Gerard Winter's Car



Among the hundreds of leaked Wikileaks cables from the US Embassy in Fiji, there is one that makes very disturbing reading. It concerns an attempt by the illegal regime on the life of the outspoken former Fiji High Court judge, Justice Gerard Winter who had sent Francis Bulewa Kean, former navy commander and brother-in-law of dictator Frank Bainmarama to prison for killing salesman John Whippy at the Suva Yacht Club in December 2006.

According to the secret cable to Washington in October 2007, the US Ambassador to Fiji Larry Dinger informed his masters back home:  “Judge Winter, who holds New Zealand, Australian, and British citizenship, is due to end his term with the Fiji judiciary at the end of October.  Judge Jitoko is an ethnic-Fijian.  Both have issued rulings in recent months casting doubt on the legality of the coup, though neither has presided over a case directly addressing that issue.  Judge Winter's car was tampered with recently, with two lug nuts removed from a wheel and steering fluid drained from its reservoir.  The recusal issue is to come before Judge Winter for hearing late this week.  Presumably the judge will not be amused.”

Esala Teleni - Gave the order to tamper Justice Winter's car
A year long investigation into the incident has led me to the DNA of none other than Esala Teleni, the dictator’s right-hand man and presently Fiji’s ambassador to China but who might be returning home to become Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence. Those who tampered with Justice Winter’s car claim that they were acting on the orders of Teleni, Bainimarma and Aiyaz Sayed Kahiyum. A senior officer on the Military Council claims that Bainimarama after discussions with Khaiyum, who had been complaining about Justice Winter, gave Teleni the go-ahead to tamper with Judge Winter’s car.

As a matter of fact, Dinger’s cable was slightly off the mark. The senior military officer claims that in fact it was all but two wheel nuts off every wheel and the two nuts remaining were deliberately loosened so the individual wheels could “flop about” on the wheel hub. “It was a cold and callous attempt to murder Justice Winter,” said the military officer.

We may recall that shortly before Kean went on trial, Justice Winter had wanted the then Police Commissioner Teleni investigated for contempt of court or for attempting to pervert the course of justice. Justice Gerard Winter said in early October 2007 that he would submit a report to the Director of Public Prosecutions on his judgement as well as raise a suspected breach of section 131 or section 136 of the Penal Code. Section 131 deals with conspiracy to defeat justice while section 136 deals with offences relating to judicial proceedings.

Murderer Kean
Kean had applied that Justice Winter remove himself from hearing the case because the judge (Winter) did not support the military takeover and would therefore be biased. To support his claim, Kean had annexed a confidential letter written by Teleni to the Permanent Secretary for Justice and Solicitor General.

In the letter dated September 10 under the subject “Justice G. Winter and Justice F. Jitoko”, Teleni had written as follows: “This is to advise that adverse reports have been received against Justice Winter and Justice Jitoko for engaging in talks against the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF). Indications has been by these two judges of the pre-empt decision for the cases that may be associated to RFMF or its members. Therefore, it would be appreciated in the interest of justice that no cases related or associated with RFMF or its members be presided over by these two judges. There is a need to maintain the independence of the judiciary and not tainted with malice. For your appropriate consideration and action, please.”

Responding, Justice Winter had said the letter attributed taint and malice to his judgement and sought to have him barred from hearing certain cases. “The serious issue is whether the provision of this confidential letter to an accused by a policeman is contempt of court or an attempt to pervert the course of justice,” he said. Justice Winter said there was no evidence to show how Kean came into possession of the confidential letter. “If the Police Commissioner provided this confidential letter to his shipmate on the eve of Kean’s trial for murder, that action at best demonstrates ignorance of the Police Act and Regulations that prohibit such communication. It also demonstrates a total failure to recognise such a gross conflict of interest. The Police Commissioner’s action may also constitute a real risk to the authority and independence of the court.”

As we are aware, Kean lost his bid to remove Justice Winter, who went on to convict and sent the murderous Kean to prison for 18 months.

Justice Winter told Kean: “I accept you were provoked by Mr. Whippy’s language and actions. However, the provocation was in the circumstances minimal and the words came from a drunken man. You could have simply asked those around you to go inside and wait until Mr. Whippy had left. In this case it is not disputed that you punched the deceased three times putting him to the ground and then you kicked him. Considerable culpability falls on you for this offending. You deliberately punched and kicked the deceased rather than try some alternative method to send him on his way. Kicking this man when he was down demonstrates to me that this was an attack of considerable ferocity. You lost your temper. You resorted to violence. You had to be dragged away from your victim. I acknowledge that there are compelling mitigating circumstances. This death has caused you and your family great sadness and impacted on your life dramatically. I accept that you are extremely remorseful and in particular I note that you have tried to underscore that remorse with offers to help the deceased's family. Your remorse is also emphasised by your plea. Mr. Kean, John Whippy’s life was precious and its value should not be underestimated. There must be exceptional circumstances before the court can suspend a term of imprisonment. I have searched for those circumstances in your case but can find none. An immediate prison sentence must be imposed. You are sentenced to eighteen (18) months in jail.”

Jo Serulagilagi & Parmesh Chand - Bainimarama stooges & sycophants

The murderer Kean has been appointed by the Public Service Commission chairman and NBF debtor Josefa Serulagilagi, as the new permanent secretary for the Ministry of Transport, Public Utilities and Works.

Crime does pay in dictator’s Fiji, especially if you happen to be not only a convicted killer but also brother-in-law of dictator and treasonist Frank Bainimarama.


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