Sentencing for a former Divisional Forestry Officer Northern was deferred today in the Labasa Magistrates Court as the defendant chose to change his plea.
Noa Vakacegu informed Magistrate Anare Tuilevuka that his lawyer Mr. Naipote Vere would be able to represent him in court on 6th January 2009.
Vakacegu asked the Court that during the festive season, he would like to report to the FICAC office in Suva instead of the one in Labasa. Under his earlier bail conditions, Vakacegu was ordered to report to the Labasa FICAC office every Wednesday. This request was granted by Magistrate Tuilevuka.
FICAC was represented by Legal Officer Henrietta Matakitoga.
On 3rd December 2008, representing himself, Vakacegu pleaded guilty to five counts of abuse of office.
Between September and November 2008, Mr. Vakacegu had approved through request letter from a private logging company, Sam Civil Service to delay payment of outstanding royalties owed to Mataqali Tibitibi, Mataqali Vitina and the Government of Fiji.
He did this without the authority of the Conservator of Forest, thereby causing prejudice to the rights of the said Mataqalis and Government of Fiji
The matter has been adjourned to 6th January 2009 for mention.