Magistrate does not make a ruling due to legality challenge

Media Team   |   13 Dec 2008
The FICAC case against Savenaca Labavuka has been adjourned to 11th December 2008

Magistrate Tuilevuka was cautious not to make a ruling today stating that he had read in the media that there was a challenge in the high court on the legality of FICAC.

Labavuka had pleaded guilty to six charges of ‘Larceny by servant’ in the Labasa Magistrate Court on Monday and was suppose to be sentenced today.

Paul Madigan representing FICAC submitted that the Qarase judgment was binding of the Magistrate court however Magistrate Tuilevuka adjourned the matter asking that submission be made on FICAC’s legality.

Also presented in court today were details on Labavuka’s charges.

Between January to July of 2005, Labavuka had misappropriated $3,040.50 from Wainikoro Fisheries Co-operative Fishing Outlet’s Imprest Account.

At the time of the crime, the defendant was working as the Accounts Clerk at the Co-operative. The Cooperative is one of three projects established through a joint venture between the Japanese and the Fiji Government to develop a co-operative and bilateral relationship in the field of fisheries.

Labavuka had raised fictious receipts and forged signatures of a fellow worker.

On 29th July 2005, Labavuka’s service was terminated after an internal audit was conducted by the Ministry of Fisheries and Forest.

FICAC arrested and interviewed Labavuka on 10th November 2008 and warned him of prosecution.