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Former Diplomat Pleads Not Guilty

Media Team   |   15 Oct 2018

A former Ministry of Foreign Affairs employee charged with four (4) corruption-related offences pled not guilty at the Suva Magistrates Court today.

Ms. Azreen Shabnam Khan was charged by the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) with one (1) count each of “Abuse of Office”, “Obtaining a Financial Advantage”, “Causing a Loss” and “Giving False Information to Public Servant” in August.

In today’s court sitting, FICAC State Counsel Ms. Laite Bokini informed the court that Prosecution would not be relying on the caution interview.

The former Second Secretary to the Fiji High Commission in New Delhi was 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.

She allegedly 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 FJD.

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.

Resident Magistrate Mr. Liyanage Wickramasekara extended bail for the accused.

The matter was adjourned to 29 November 2018 to fix a hearing date.