FIJI FISHERIES OFFICIAL POCKETS TRAVEL FUNDS

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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 25) – The Honiara, Solomon Islands-based Forum Fisheries Agency wants the Fiji Fisheries Ministry chief executive to repay funds given to him to attend a meeting he skipped.

The agency wrote to Fiji Minister of Foreign Affairs Kaliopate Tavola, asking for a reimbursement of more than FJ$4,000 (US$2,300).

It said the funds were paid as per diem to Mitieli Baleivanualala for daily allowance during a meeting in the Federated States of Micronesia last year.

But instead of attending the meeting, Mr Baleivanualala allegedly went to Japan.

The Fiji Public Service Commission investigated and found him guilty of the offence and eight other charges of misconduct and will decide on disciplinary action next week.

When contacted yesterday, the commission did not confirm nor deny if Mr Baleivanualala went to Japan, or the U.S., as alleged.

Mr Baleivanualala allegedly visited Fiji Ambassador Ratu Tevita Momoedonu while in Japan.

A two-member committee headed by Information Ministry chief executive Emi Rabukawaqa is investigating the case.

May 25, 2005

Fiji Times Online: http://www.fijitimes.com.

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