FICAC to call 16 witnesses in Fiji Corrections corruption case

Picture: FILE

THE trial for former Fiji Corrections Service commissioner Iferemi Vasu and acting deputy FCS commissioner Peniasi Kunatuba who are both facing abuse of office charges began on Monday.

Both men appeared before judge Justice Riyaz Hamza yesterday and are charged with a count each of abuse of office.

It is alleged that between July 11, 2013, and December 23, 2014, Mr Vasu while being employed in the public service as the Commissioner Fiji Corrections Service(FCS) and as a Director of Naboro Mart Limited, in abuse of the authority of his office, did arbitrary acts for the purpose of gain, namely facilitating and approving the purchasing of goods in the amount of $131,683.33 from the Naboro Mart Limited.

Mr Kunatuba is alleged to have between January 31, 2013, and March 7, 2014, while being employed in the public service as the Director Corporate Service and acting Deputy Commissioner of the Fiji Corrections Service, in abuse of the authority of his office, did arbitrary acts for the purpose of gain, namely facilitating and approving the purchasing of goods in the amount of $54,734.65 from the Naboro Mart Limited.

It is alleged that both men’s offences were contrary to the Procurement Regulations 2010 of the Financial Management Act 2004 and the Finance Manual of the Fiji Corrections Service, which were acts prejudicial to the rights of the Fiji Government, Fiji Corrections Service and the Approved Government Contractors.

During the trial, FICAC would be calling 16 witnesses. The first witness was called yesterday.

Jainan Prasad, the former Senior Procurement Officer at the Ministry of Economy was questioned by FICAC lawyer, Francis Puleiwai on whether he recalled who was the contracted supplier for rice for the whole of government from the exhibit provided in court.

The trial continues this week.

The trial is expected to conclude by November 8.

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