FIJI ANTI-CORRUPTION UNIT TALLIES 79 PROSECUTIONS

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Nearly 400 charges laid since early 2007

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Dec. 9, 2009) - Fiji’s anti-corruption unit has prosecuted 79 people and laid close to 400 corruption-related charges since its inception on February 4, 2007.

Of these court cases, nine have been convicted, eight of which were achieved this year.

These figures were released today at the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) Open Day in Suva, to mark International Anti-Corruption Day.

FICAC spokeswoman Erica Lee said the institution received 8,953 complaints between April, 2007 and December 7, 2010.

The most complaints were received this year (3,974). There were 2,851 complaints recorded last year and 2,128 in its first year of operation.

FICAC was one of the first establishments set up by the then military-led regime following the December 5, 2006 takeover, touted as the "clean-up campaign" against corruption.

Deposed Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and heads of several Government-owned institutions have since been charged by FICAC.

Lee said FICAC’s Community and Education Department that was created in April this year has carried out vigorous anti-corruption awareness in 39 Government sections, 16 Public Service Commission workshops, 39 high schools, six of Fiji’s 14 provinces and two tertiary institutions.

She said the department also has Roving Complaints Officers that attend the awareness sessions and receive complaints from members of the public who do not have access to the FICAC offices.

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