No interference in FICAC compared to when Aiyaz was AG – Acting FICAC Deputy Commissioner
I have been hearing Doko is trying to interfere – Sayed-Khaiyum

No interference in FICAC compared to when Aiyaz was AG – Acting FICAC Deputy Commissioner

I have been hearing Doko is trying to interfere – Sayed-Khaiyum

By Vijay Narayan , Alifereti Sakiasi
Thursday 28/03/2024
Acting Deputy Commissioner of FICAC, Francis Puleiwai and former Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Acting Deputy Commissioner of FICAC, Francis Puleiwai reassures the public that there has been no interference with its operations from the current Government Administration following allegations of interference by former Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Puleiwai says Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum should be mindful of what he says as she can safely confirm that there was a lot of alleged interference during his tenure as the Attorney General with FICAC.

She says a clear case would be one of the pending cases where they were recently charged with alleged interference in investigations by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the case is pending in court.

Puleiwai stresses that FICAC continues to remain independent and vigilant in carrying out its mandate in accordance with the rule of law.

She says since taking up this post, there has been no direct or indirect interference by the current Government Ministers or any political parties on any of FICAC’s cases being investigated or any ongoing cases and the due process is always strictly adhered to.

Puleiwai says the due process within FICAC has not been compromised since she took up the post and the integrity of the justice system and the prosecutorial process has always been protected and adhered to.

She says it should be highlighted that all complaints received are treated with high priority and nevertheless will follow the due process of legal assessment and investigation before the respective charges are filed in court.

Puleiwai says the decision to charge solely rests on the evidence at hand and through the approval of the Deputy Commissioner.

In addition to the comments by Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum regarding the issuance of the Stop Departure Orders, Puleiwai says it is solely applied at the discretion of the Acting Deputy Commissioner on a case-by-case basis given that most of their suspects are high profile persons and the case is of a public interest.

She says there is always a high risk of suspects leaving the country without returning especially when there is an ongoing investigation against them.

She adds there has been instances that suspect(s) have left the country without FICAC’s knowledge when there is an investigation on foot and upon arrival in another country, they immediately apply for “Protection Visa” claiming that the investigation against him or her is politically motivated.

Puleiwai says FICAC will continue to be independent in its work and will follow the rule of law in carrying out its mandate.

Sayed-Khaiyum made allegations without any proof in a press conference only attended by fijivillage News on Sunday that he is being told that Attorney General, Siromi Turaga is trying to interfere in certain institutions, and he is also concerned about why Veronica Malani’s complaint against him in relation to the bomb investigation is reopened by Police again.

Sayed-Khaiyum waited for other media for about 45 to 50 minutes before proceeding with the conference, with only fijivillage News in attendance.

Sayed-Khaiyum is currently facing charges in court for allegedly directing FICAC to stop investigations in a Health Ministry tender case.

Meanwhile Sayed-Khaiyum questions why the 1987 bombing investigation case is opened again after a clear decision by the former DPP.

fijivillage News sought a response from Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum last night after FICAC’s statement. He has not responded.

We are also awaiting a response from the Office of the DPP.

Attorney General, Siromi Turaga referred all questions to FICAC.

Sayed-Khaiyum also says no one should be presuming or deciding outside court on whether FijiFirst Leader, Voreqe Bainimarama should get a custodial or non-custodial sentence.

Stay with us for developments.

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