Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Allegations of Fiji Government Interference in Prosecutions

Australia Network News - 16 August 2011


by Bruce Hill

Madhawa Tenakoon, held a senior position with the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption before he was dismissed by the military regime. [Supplied]
Madhawa Tenakoon, held a senior position with the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption before he was dismissed by the military regime.



A former senior staffer with the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption says people in the country have been prosecuted for political reasons.

Madhawa Tenakoon held a senior position with FICAC but was dismissed by the military regime along with two other senior colleagues.

He alleges the government was directing the Commission to pursue investigations, when there was no basis for it to do so.

Mr Tenakoon says there's no rule of law and no democracy in Fiji while the military is running the legal system.

The Sri Lankan lawyer told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat he originally accepted the job of prosecutor because he was told he'd be taking on a pioneering role in the fight against corruption in Fiji.

He says after about six months in the job he realised there was government interference in pursuing some cases and ignoring others.

Fiji's Attorney General has rejected the claims.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says Mr Tenakoon was sacked for poor-performance.

The Attorney General says the United Nations is quite happy with the progress being made with Fiji's anti-corruption legislation.

Meanwhile, one of the people pursued by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Imrana Jalal, says she hopes to file a malicious prosecution case based on what Madhawa Tenakoon has alleged.



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