FICAC disclosures questioned in Whippy and O'Connor case

April 11, 2024 12:46 pm

Daniel Whippy [left] and John O' Connor

The Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption counsel was today questioned about the volumes of materials served as disclosures to in the case involving former Chair of National Fire Authority and Carpenters Fiji Managing Director.

Daniel Whippy and John O’ Connor  appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court today.

The FICAC counsel today informed the court that she has served the disclosure to the defense counsels which is a 157 page documents and compiled in six volumes.

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O’ Connors lawyer requested the court for three months to go through the volumes of documents and for their plea to be deferred.

Similar request was made by Whippy’s New South Wales based senior counsel Steven Stanton.

Steven Stanton

Magistrate Puamau then highlighted an observation made by her on whether there was a disconnection between the charges filed and the volumes of material provided by way of disclosures.

The prosecution then explained the reasons for the volumes of materials adding that the alleged conduct did not happen on one specific date and this needed to be disclosed.

The Magistrate then stated that she was worried whether series of offenses was rolled in one and whether prosecution will consider this.

In this matter O’Connor is charged with one count of abuse of office while Whippy is charged with one count of counselling for the omission of the offense.

Daniel Whippy

This matter is in relation to a fire at Carpenters Fiji property, MH warehouse in Walubay in 2018.

It is alleged between 1st January and 28th September 2018, O’Connor whilst being employed in the Civil Service as the Chair of the National Fire Authority Board, in abuse of the authority of his office, did an arbitrary act, namely directing the officers of the NFA to amend the findings in their 30th April 2018 fire investigation report, for the fire that occurred on the April 8th, 2018 at the MH Warehouse located at Walu Bay, which was an act prejudicial to the rights of the NFA for the purposes of gain.

It is alleged that Whippy counselled O’Connor for the commission of the offense

Meanwhile Magistrate Puamau ordered the lifting of Whippy’s stop departure from May 1st to 7th as he will be traveling overseas.

His lawyer Suruj Sharma indicated in court that his client will be traveling again in June.

Suruj Sharma

His matter has been adjourned to 7th June for bail review while the substantive matter will be called on 17th October for plea.