Fiji judge says anti-corruption body doesn't have prosecution powers

Fiji judge says anti-corruption body doesn't have prosecution powers

Fiji judge says anti-corruption body doesn't have prosecution powers

Updated 19 December 2011, 15:46 AEDT

Attempts by the newly formed anti-graft body in Fiji to crackdown on corruption have suffered a setback.

A high court judge has told the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption that it does not have the powers to prosecute offenders.

Our correspondent in Fiji, Samisoni Pareti, says Judge Nazhat Shameem gave the orders when he quashed corruption charges brought by the commission against a senior Fiji government official, Inoke Devo.

Mr Devo, as the then commissioner central, was charged with abuse of office by the commission.

However, Judge Shameem says until the court rules on the legality of the military led government, the commission, as a creature of the interim government, does not have the powers to prosecute people.

It will have to go through the office of the director of public prosecutions for now.

The judge's ruling is also expected to affect all other cases being brought by the anti-corruption commission included that involving ousted prime minister, Laisenia Qarase.

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