3 May 2012

Not guilty plea in Fiji NLTB case

3:03 pm on 3 May 2012

Three high profile former members of the Fiji Native Land Trust Board have pleaded not guilty to fraud charges in the High Court in Suva.

A former Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, the former General Manager of Native Land Trust Board, Kalivati Bakani and former NLTB Director and Chairman of the Vanua Development Corporation, Keni Dakuidreketi appeared in court this morning.

Mr Qarase is charged with two counts of Abuse of Office while Mr Bakani and Mr Dakuidreketi are charged with four counts of Fraudulent Conversion.

Mr Bakani also faces one count of Abuse of Office.

It is alleged that they conspired to transfer ownership and control of the Extinct Mataqali Funds in 2002 without proper approvals of the NLTB and the Fijian Affairs Board.

It is also alleged Mr Bakani and Mr Dakuidreketi fraudulently converted a government grant into operational costs in 2005.

Fiji Village reports that a pre-trial conference date has been set for August the 9th.