18 Nov 2003

Fiji's speaker allegedly assaulted restaurant employee

1:19 pm on 18 November 2003

The deputy speaker of Fiji's parliament is under investigation for knocking out the two front teeth of a restaurant cashier.

Fiji TV reports that the incident occurred at Suva's only floating restaurant, Tiko's, at the weekend.

Ratu Rakuita Vakalalabure, who is the chairman of parliament's law and order committee, allegedly swore at the staff and punched the cashier after querying a bill.

He was pushed off the boat by a security guard.

Ratu Rakuita was taken into police custody and later released, but is still under police investigation.

He is already facing a serious coup-related charge of taking an illegal oath to commit a capital offence for being sworn in as a member of George Speight's failed administration a day after the May 2000 coup.