14 Dec 2005

High level Fiji civil servant appears before Public Service Commission

10:42 am on 14 December 2005

The chief executive of Fiji's ministry of transport and civil aviation has appeared before the Public Service Commission to answer charges of abuse of office when he was permanent secretary of fisheries three years ago.

The Fiji Times reports that police have already charged Vuetasau Buatoka with abuse of office and he will appear in court next week.

Police have also charged the former director of fisheries, Maciu Ligabalavu, with the same offence but he has already been sacked from the public service.

Both men had approved a fishing company's bid to continue fishing in Fiji waters after its licence had expired and had not been renewed.

Authorities caught the company's four vessels fishing illegally soon afterwards.

The chairman of the Public Service Commission, Stuart Hugget, says a decision will be made soon on whether Buatoka will be suspended as chief executive of transport and civil aviation.