Three military officers and a businessman today appeared at the Suva Magistrates Court charged with bribery offences involving $15,906.
Corporal Waisale Sorokacika, Staff Sergeant Elazar Adrian Luciano, and Sergeant-MajorJosese Vusoniceva are each charged with one count of bribery while businessman Ajesh Sharma is charged with three counts of bribery offences.
The four appeared before Magistrate Waleen George and took their plea. Sharma and Luciano pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Mr Filimoni Vosorogo, the lawyer for Sorokacika and Vusioniceva, was not in court because he had yet to renew his practising certificate and thus unable to make an appearance.
Magistrate George informed Sorokacika that the matter had been prolonged for some time that he should consider getting assistance from Legal Aid or hire another lawyer. He could also choose to represent himself. The court gave him one month to sort out the matter.
Magistrate George ordered the two accused Sorokacika and Vusioniceva check with their lawyer or find another lawyer to reappear on the 30th of May 2016 to take their plea.
The court also extended bail to Sharma and Luciano. Their case will be called again on the 23rd of November.
Waisale Sorokacika – It is alleged that between April 1 and August 31 last year, Sorokacika while being employed as the assistant purchasing clerk for the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) Accounts Section at its Engineering Unit accepted advantage of $5404 from an Ajesh Sharma who was the manager sales at Buildex Marketing Limited in Labasa.
Elazar Adrian Luciano – is alleged to have, between August 1 and 31 last year, solicited an advantage of $600 also from an Ajesh Sharma, the manager sales at Buildex Limited in Labasa while being employed as a purchasing accounts warrant officer at the RFMF’s Account Section of its Engineering Unit.
Josese Vusoniceva – It is alleged that between January 1 and September 30 last year in Nadi, Vusoniceva while being employed as a works warrant officer accepted an advantage of $9906 from an Ajesh Sharma who was the Manager Sales for Buildex Marketing Limited in Labasa.
Ajesh Sharma – It is alleged that between April 1 and August 31 last year in Labasa, Sharma while being employed as the manager sales for Buildex Marketing Limited in Labasa offered an advantage of $5404 to Sorokacika. It is also alleged that between August 1 and August 31, Sharma while also being employed at the company offered an advantage of $600 to Luciano. The court also heard that between January 1 and September 30 last year, Sharma allegedly offered an advantage of $9906 to Vusoniceva while being the manager sales for Buildex Marketing Limited.