Former PWD workers appear in court

SEVEN former employees of the then Public Works Department and two otherpersons charged with various counts of abuse of office, causing a loss, and obtaining a financial advantage appeared before High Court judge Justice Riyaz Hamza on Monday.

Former PWD workers Ana Laqere, Amelia Vunisea, Vaciseva Laqai, Vilisi Tuitavuki, Laisa Halafi, Tavenisa Tavaga and Kiniviliame Taviraki and former directors of Crazy Office Supplies and Entire Office Supplies, Salesh Bikash and Roshni Lata fronted the court for their alleged involvement in obtaining funds amounting to $93,512.48 .

The seven former PWD workers face one count each of abuse of office and their charges for causing a loss varies.

In the causing a loss charges, Ms Laqere faces 28 counts, Ms Vunisea is charged with 33 counts, Ms Laqai has 24 counts, Ms Tuitavuki, Ms Tavaga and Mr Taviraki face three counts each, while Ms Halafi is charged with 27 counts of the same and one more count of obtaining a financial advantage.

Mr Bikash and Ms Lata face only one charge each of obtaining a financial advantage.

While Ms Vunisea and Ms Halafi have pleaded guilty to the charges against them, the rest pleaded not guilty.

Seven of the nine accused are serving time in prison for a different matter.

The nine accused persons are believed to have committed the offence between February 1, 2010, and May 31 of the same year.

The matter has been adjourned to May 7 for mention.

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