NEWS

Told To Keep It Confidential, Says Former Employees

Two former employees of Post Fiji Limited said yesterday that the former general manager finance had instructed them to keep confidential the payment to the former managing director. Viki Fullman,
08 Nov 2014 17:09
Told To Keep It Confidential, Says Former Employees

Two former employees of Post Fiji Limited said yesterday that the former general manager finance had instructed them to keep confidential the payment to the former managing director.

Viki Fullman, former accountant, and Angeline Kaveeta, former secretary for the former general manager finance, gave evidence in the High Court in Suva in a case between Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) and three former executives.

The three are Mahendra Motibhai Patel (Board Chairman), Tevita Peni Mau (managing director) and Dhirendra Pratap (General Manager Finance).

Ms Fullman and Ms Kaveeta are prosecution witnesses.

Patel, who is being tried in absentia, is charged with a count of abuse of office over the renewal of Mau’s contract.

Mau is charged with a count of extortion where he is alleged to have demanded money from the board.

Pratap faces a count of abuse of office for allegedly facilitating the payout to Mau.

The three accused have denied the charges.

Ms Fullman when queried by FICAC lawyer Rashmi Aslam said she was instructed to raise the payment voucher by Pratap without any memo.

This was not the usual practice, she said.

She said Pratap gave her the amount of $122,481.39 and told her to prepare the voucher.

Mr Aslam asked her what the instructions from Pratap were.

Ms Fullman said the instructions were to raise the voucher, and take it back to him for approval.

She said she was also instructed by Pratap to keep the information confidential.

She said she was also asked to issue a blank cheque to him.

Ms Fullman was shown the cheque dated March 8, 2007, and queried whether it was the same cheque she issued. She agreed that it was the same cheque and the details entered were by Pratap’s secretary, Ms Kaveeta.

Ms Fullman said she only received the breakdown of the payment on March 23, 2007, which she filed in the company’s financial system.

Mau’s lawyer, Barbara Malimali, during cross examination of Ms Fullman put it to her that at the time the payment was raised, Mau was no longer an employee.

She said Mau took an early exit from the company in Febrauary, 2007. Ms Fullman agreed.

Pratap, during his cross examination, queried her about the signatories of the cheque.

Ms Fullman said the cheque was signed by him when he was acting managing director at the time and Parma Raman, the former acting general manager finance.

Pratap put it to Ms Fullman that nothing was hidden in the payout since two top executives of the company had signed the cheque. Ms Fullman disagreed saying that when she raised the payment voucher there was no written documentation supporting it.

Ms Kaveeta, during the chief examination by Mr Aslam, said it was her role to type financial details and the typing on the cheque on March 8 2007 was done by her.

Ms Kaveeta said she was given the payment voucher from where she put the amount on the cheque and returned it to Pratap.

She said she was told not to divulge this information to anyone and to keep it confidential.

The trial resumes on Monday.

Feedback: farisha.ahmed@fijisun.com.fj

 

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