24 Nov 2005

Former CEO of labour ministry in Fiji acquitted of fraud charges

8:23 am on 24 November 2005

The Suva High Court has acquitted the former chief executive of Fiji's labour ministry, Brian Singh, on charges of attempting to defraud the government.

The charges related to overseas travel when the state paid for business class tickets but Mr Singh flew economy and was alleged to have pocketed the difference.

Justice Gerard Winter upheld the assessors verdict that Mr Singh was not guilty and acquitted him.

Mr Singh, who was sacked when the charges were laid last year, told the court that he had paid the money back as soon as the issue was raised.

Mr Singh says he has not yet decided whether he will sue the state for loss of earnings and damage to his character and reputation.

His acquittal is the second such high profile case after the minister for multi-ethnic affairs, George Shiu Raj, was earlier acquitted on similar charges and restored to his cabinet post.