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Puleiwai not on leave but in HK, FICAC confirms

Acting Deputy Commissioner of the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC), Francis Puleiwai has not been sent on leave as claimed by Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry.

FICAC in a statement said Chaudhry’s claim is not true and an attempt to discredit the work of the Commission and the political will it has been receiving from the Coalition Government.

“The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) can confirm that its Acting Deputy Commissioner Ms Francis Puleiwai has not been sent on indefinite leave however she is currently attending the 8th ICAC Symposium in Hong Kong, a global event organized by the Hong Kong ICAC bringing anti-corruption practitioners, investigators, lawyers, specialists from around the world to discuss innovative ways of identifying, tackling and addressing corruption.”

“It is unfortunate to see a Political Party attempt to discredit the work of FICAC after the coalition Government had vowed its support towards FICAC in Parliament earlier this week.”

FICAC reaffirms that under its new leadership, it remains independent and all its cases investigated and complaints received or referred to the Commission will follow the due processes and procedures regardless of who is being investigated.

The Commission is also requesting the Fiji Labour Party to retract the statement published on its Facebook Page and do proper due diligence in finding out the correct facts before publishing damaging statement as such.

Chaudhry in the statement had stated that Puleiwai has been sent on indefinite leave by the Attorney General, one of several ministers under investigation by FICAC.

“This comes at a time when she was investigating complaints referred to her office by the Supervisor of Elections (SOE) concerning breaches of the Political Parties and the Electoral Acts by Cabinet Ministers. Is there a connection?

“Eight ministers and four other prominent politicians all under investigation for some kind of financial malfeasance.”

“The Prime Minister has personally expressed concern about these investigations. Under proper procedures, he should ask all these ministers to step aside pending investigation.”

“We have said this before and repeat it for the sake of having some semblance of integrity in the Government,” Chaudhry said.

Reginald Chandar
Reginald Chandar
Head of News & Sports | news@fijilive.com

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