A former Director of the Ministry of Forestry and a Manager of a private company appeared before the Labasa Magistrates Court charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption on bribery related offences.
Moape Lotawa has been charged with four counts of bribery and one count of Accepting An Advantage, while Byas Karan has been charged with one count of bribery.
For the first accused, it is alleged that between 19 March 2020 and 1 October 2020, on four (4) separate occasions, whilst being a public servant employed at the Ministry of Forestry, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, solicited an advantaged totalling the sum of $8,000 from one Byas Karan.
It is further alleged that between 19 March 2020 and 1 October 2023, the accused, without the general or special permission of his appointing authority, accepted an advantaged of $4,000 from one Byas Karan, a manager of a private company.
For the second accused, it is alleged that on 23 July 2020, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, offered an advantage of $2,000.
State Counsel has served the first phase of disclosures to both the accused.
Resident Magistrate Safaia Ratu has granted a non-cash bail of $5,000 for each of the accused and ordered them not to re-offend whilst on bail.
The matter has been adjourned to 2 February 2024.