ACT Police arrest Tuungafasi Manase and charged with perjury

A man has been arrested and charged with perjury after giving evidence at the trade union royal commission in Canberra.

Tuungafasi Manase, 29, was arrested by ACT police last night just after 7:00pm and charged with one count of perjury.

Manase is the third person to be charged while the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption is in Canberra investigating the activities of the ACT branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).

Manase is an associate of one of those men – former CFMEU official Fihi Kivalu – who was arrested on blackmail charges.

Kivalu had previously given evidence to the commission that he had demanded bribes from ACT builders to secure them work.

Another CFMEU official and former Canberra Raiders NRL player John Lomax was arrested by officers over alleged blackmail claims a week later.

He was yet to give evidence to the commission.

More details of Manase’s perjury charge are not yet known, but he gave evidence to the commission in its first week.

At that time, counsel assisting the commission Richard Scruby reminded him a number of times that he was under oath as he denied writing a list outlining alleged bribes owed by a formwork contractor.

Commissioner Dyson Heydon even went as far as to ask him to write out some text to compare handwriting.

When asked whether he was trying to protect Kivalu by giving false evidence, Manase did not respond.

He is expected to face the ACT Magistrates Court this morning.