18 Jul 2007

Fiji's FICAC investigates suspended Chief Justice's tax affairs

7:20 am on 18 July 2007

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption or FICAC is investigating the tax files of the suspended chief justice, Daniel Fatiaki.

Fiji TV reports that this has been confirmed by the Commission's deputy commissioner, Col George Langman.

Col Langman says investigators went with a warrant to the offices of the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority on Monday but were stopped by its chief executive, Tevita Banuve.

He says they returned yesterday and obtained Mr Fatiaki's tax files.

Fiji laws prevent tax officials from disclosing any taxpayer information but Col Langman says the FICAC Act supercedes all other legislation.

He says the directions for the investigation came from the interim Attorney General's Office and the information is intended for the tribunal which will investigate allegations against Mr Fatiaki.

Col Langman says the Revenue and Customs chief executive's refusal to cooperate has resulted in his removal from office.

Tevita Banuve has confirmed he has been asked to vacate his office but has not been officially informed of his removal.