A former employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court today facing four (4) different corruption-related charges.
The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) charged Ms. Azreen Shabnam Khan with one (1) count each of “Abuse of Office”, “Obtaining a Financial Advantage”, “Causing a Loss” and “Giving False Information to Public Servant” under the Crimes Act of 2009.
Ms. Khan is alleged to have fraudulently caused payments amounting to $40,559.37FJD from last January to this March from monthly allowances sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Fiji High Commission in New Delhi where she used to serve as the Second Secretary.
She is alleged to have certified thirty-five (35) payment vouchers to receive $26,214.44FJD and further caused the certifying of fifteen (15) payment vouchers for various claims amounting to $14,344.93.
Furthermore, she is alleged to have given the former Acting Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs false information regarding the interviews and appointments of Locally Engaged Staff (LES), employed by the Fiji High Commission in New Delhi, which then led the Acting PS to approve the employment of the LES.
FICAC State Counsel Ms. Laite Bokini informed the Court that first phase disclosures were served and that no application to have the matter transferred to the High Court would be made at that stage. Ms Khan then elected to be tried in the Magistrates Court.
Resident Magistrate Mr. Kashyapa Wickaramasekara, granted bail with a bail bond of $5000FJD with two (2) sureties.
A Stop Departure Order was also issued with Ms. Khan being instructed to surrender all travel documents and to report to the Valelevu Police Station every Saturday.
Defence counsel Mr. Devanesh Sharma informed the Court that his client would duly adhere to all bail conditions set by the Court.
The matter was adjourned to 15 October 2018 for Plea.