26 Jul 2004

Fiji army officer says his reputation has been destroyed by Commodore Bainimarama

8:55 pm on 26 July 2004

A senior army officer in Fiji says his reputation was destroyed when he was sent on leave for refusing to claim allegiance to the military commander.

Lieutenant Colonel Akuila Buadromo is one of five officers threatening court action over what they allege are defamatory remarks about them by Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

The officers lodged a claim for compensation with the Home Affairs Minister, Joketani Cokanasiga in May, but have had no response.

The complaint was made after Commodore Bainimarama branded them disloyal and called for their resigation.

The Lieutenant Colonel alleges they refused to go along with the commander's plans to overthrow the government and says the publicity has taken its toll.

"First your reputation has been tarnished in public, it effects the family, people look at your differently now. There's questions on your integrity and I'd say it's been a lot of personal hurt."

The other four officers are the former chief of staff, Colonel Ratu George Kadavulevu; Colonel Alfred Tuatoko, whom George Speight tried to name as his army commander during the coup; Colonel Samuela Raduva, and naval officer Commander Timoci Koroi.