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Stop order lifted for Whippy, plea set for October

Defence Counsels representing former National Fire Authority Board Chairman John O’Connor and Carpenters Fiji Managing Director Daniel Whippy say they would need at least three months to go through the 157-page disclosure documents filed by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption.

In the Magistrates Court in Suva today, FICAC served both O’Connor and Whippy full disclosures, containing 157 pages which were compiled in six volumes.

The matter was called before Resident Magistrate Seini Puamau, this morning.

Magistrate Puamau has also lifted the stop departure order for Whippy between May 1 and May 7 as he intends to travel overseas.

Meanwhile, O’Connor is charged with one count of abuse of office while Whippy is charged with one count of counseling for the omission of the offence.

This matter is about a fire at Carpenters Fiji property, MH warehouse in Walu Bay in 2018.

It is alleged between 1st January and 28th September 2018, O’Connor whilst being employed in the Civil Service as the Chair of the National Fire Authority Board, in abuse of the authority of his office, did an arbitrary act, namely directing the officers of the NFA to amend the findings in their 30th April 2018 fire investigation report, for the fire that occurred on the April 8th, 2018 at the MH Warehouse located at Walu Bay, which was an act prejudicial to the rights of the NFA for gain.

It is alleged that Whippy counseled O’Connor for the commission of the offence.

Whippy’s matter has been adjourned to 7 June for bail review as he intends to travel in June as well; however, the substantive matter will be called on 17 October for a plea for both accused persons.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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