Acting Secretary of Department of Defence, Trevor Meauri, has welcomed the decision of the Ombudsman Commission in referring him to the Public Prosecutor for alleged misconduct in office.
In a statement today, Mr Meauri said the allegations in the referral relates to disciplinary actions taken against nine employees within the Department by the former Secretary, late Vali Asi.
“These staff members have appealed against these disciplinary actions taken against them. That process is still on-going, and I cannot interfere while it is pending.
“But the Ombudsman Commission has issued a direction to me to reinstate these officers. I have refused to comply with the direction because there is an appeal by these officers on foot, as required by the Public Services (Management) Act.
“Only one of them was successful in her appeal through the Public Service Commission, and I have reinstated her.
“I have informed the Ombudsman of my position in my correspondences and meetings with them.
“I am therefore disappointed about this referral, and question the integrity of the Commission to proceed in this manner.
At no point did they contact me to discuss and verify the credibility of the complainants, who are the terminated staff.”
Mr Meauri also questioned the timing of the media statement announcing the referral – adding that he was disappointed with the referral and the negative implication and perception it will create on his personal and professional reputation.