Former Fiji PM Bainimarama sentenced to year in jail, media report

By Thomson Reuters May 8, 2024 | 7:21 PM

(Reuters) – Fiji’s former long-serving prime minister Frank Bainimarama was on Thursday sentenced to a year in prison for perverting the course of justice, local media reported.

Bainimarama was initially spared jail in the case during sentencing last month, before an appeal by the country’s director for public prosecutions.

A former military chief, Bainimarama came to power in a 2006 coup and later won democratic elections in 2014 and 2018.

He was found guilty this month by the High Court of attempting to pervert the course of justice while he was prime minister by telling a senior police official to stay away from an investigation into the University of South Pacific, court documents show.

Bainimarama led the Pacific island nation for 16 years until narrowly losing an election in December 2022 to a coalition of parties led by current prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka.

(Reporting by Alasdair Pal in Sydney; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)