AG denies suspension of Puleiwai

May 25, 2024 8:50 am

From left: Fiji Labour Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry, Francis Puleiwai and Attorney-General Siromi Turaga

The Fiji Labour Party alleges that the Attorney General has placed Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption Acting Deputy Commissioner Francis Puleiwai on indefinite leave.

Party Leader Mahendra Chaudhry asserts that this action coincides with Puleiwai’s investigation into complaints referred to her office by the Supervisor of Elections regarding breaches of the Political Parties and Electoral Acts by Cabinet Ministers.

Chaudhry claims that Attorney-General Siromi Turaga is one of eight Ministers under investigation.

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The other Ministers include Minister for Multi-Ethnic Affairs and Sugar Charan Jeath Singh, Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad, Minister for Women, Children and Social Protection Lynda Tabuya, Minister for Trade and Investment Manoa Kamikamica, Education Minister Aseri Radordro and Minister for iTaukei Affairs Ifereimi Vasu.

Complaints against President Ratu Viliame Katonivere, former Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and FijiFirst MP Faiyaz Siddiq Koya have been referred to FICAC by the Supervisor of Elections.

Fisheries Minister Kalaveti Ravu is also under investigation.

Chaudhry emphasizes that the Prime Minister has expressed personal concern about these investigations and suggests that according to proper procedures, all implicated Ministers should step aside pending investigation.

Chaudhry reiterates that they have previously stated this concern and repeat it for the sake of maintaining integrity in the government.

Earlier this week, FBC News approached Attorney-General Siromi Turaga to confirm Puleiwai’s work status.

Turaga denied claims that Puleiwai had been placed on leave stating instead that she was on a work trip overseas.

He had also mentioned during a parliamentary session discussing FICAC’s annual reports that Puleiwai is currently on a work trip overseas.