Monday, May 16, 2011

Tongan PM Speaks

Fiji Village News - 16 May 2011

Tonga’s Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano stated that there will be no obstacle placed before the Fijian government representatives in court nor will Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara be denied counsel and the right to reply.

As Fiji prepares extradition papers to get the former 3FIR Commanding Officer back to the country, Lord Tu’ivakano said the right of audience in His Majesty’s courts without political interference has been a cornerstone of the King’s Peace for over 100 years. 

The Tongan Prime Minister also stated that there are proper procedures and obligations governing applications for extradition orders.

He said the Tongan judges are not subject to influence from either the King or His Ministers nor are they encouraged to pass judgement according to their political beliefs.

Lord Tu’ivakano said it is an offensive breach of protocol purposely to infer, for political gain, His Majesty’s offer of hospitality to his kinsman Ratu Tevita Mara as an offer of immunity.

The Tongan Prime Minister has not said anything at this stage on whether he has been contacted by Commodore Bainimarama, and the statement that the Tongan navy vessel picked Mara up from within the Fiji waters.


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