DAL whistleblower restrained

A temporary restraining order has been issued by the court for the former legal officer who is raising serious mismanagement allegations against Agriculture secretary Dr Vele Pat Ila’ava.

Justice Ere Kariko today issued orders restraining Francis Tavatuna from further publishing any comments relating to the serious allegations he raised against Secretary Ila’ava, in a letter dated 20 November 2017.

This letter was sent to the Agriculture Minister Benny Allan, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Treasurer Charles Abel and other ministers.

Last week Dr Ila’ava was given till today, February 1, to respond to the allegations in writing to Minister Allan. An investigation is pending his response.

Yesterday Dr. Ila’ava’s lawyer filed a defamation claim in the National Court, seeking damages and a permanent restraining order against Tavatuna.

His lawyer, in an ex-parte hearing today, said the allegations came to light following his refusal to retain Tavatuna on a short-term contract. This was based on advice from the former Department of Personnel Management secretary John Kali.

Justice Kariko, in granting the orders, said it was proper to allow the application to maintain the status-quo, pending determination of the case.

The case was adjourned to next week for hearing.

(Loop file pic of Dr. Ila’ava)

Sally Pokiton