24 Mar 2006

Sacked Fiji top official in court

3:11 pm on 24 March 2006

A Fiji government chief executive officer sacked this week for corruption and abuse of office has appeared in court.

Vuetasau Buatoka was the chief executive of the ministry of transport and civil aviation until this week but the offences for which he was sacked occurred two years ago when he headed the ministry of fisheries.

The Public Service Commission found Buatoka guilty on ten charges of corruption for allowing a company whose licence had expired to continue fishing in Fiji waters.

The then director of fisheries, Maciu Ligabalavu, was also sacked for the same offences several months ago.

Radio Legend reports that today Buatoka and Ligabalavu appeared before Justice Nazhat Shameen in the Suva High Court where he asked that the charges against him be separated from those against his co-accused.

Justice Shameem told Buatoka to make a formal request through his lawyer when the case is called again on the 21st of April.

Buatoka's successor as the chief executive of the ministry of fisheries, Mitieli Baleivanualala, was also sacked in January this year after the Public Service Commission found him guilty on a number of serious several charges.