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Fiji Time: 1:38 AM on Friday 25 April

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Former immigration officer on bribery charges

Repeka Nasiko
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

AN enquiry relating to an upcoming trial of a former senior immigration officer who allegedly accepted money in exchange for passport information began at the High Court in Lautoka yesterday.

The enquiry will decide whether statements made by former immigration officer Josateki Toga will be used during the trial.

Mr Toga faces five charges by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) relating to bribery and abuse of office.

He is alleged to have received a $500 bribe and a mobile phone from businessman Stephen Mellarich in Nadi in 2009.

The court heard that Mr Mellarich was approached by Mr Toga who said that he had evidence that a criminal suspect had breached his bail conditions on three different occasions.

Mr Mellarich told the court that Mr Toga offered the critical evidence for money.

Following his conversation with Mr Toga, Mr Mellarich lodged a complaint with FICAC against the immigration officer and offered to work with the FICAC team in a sting operation. During their second meeting, Mr Toga was arrested at Nadi's McDonald's restaurant on July 23, 2009 after receiving $500 from Mr Mellarich who also claimed he provided the former civil servant with a mobile phone.

Mr Mellarich said the documents were travel papers on a criminal suspect, a Muhammed Ali รน which clearly showed he had breached his bail conditions.

Mr Mellarich was involved in a separate case against Mr Ali.

Mr Toga is represented by Lautoka lawyer Kitione Vuataki.

The enquiry continues today.