4 Feb 2005

Fiji president may appear in court over Tarakinikini case

4:25 pm on 4 February 2005

Fiji's president and commander in chief of the military may have to appear in court in the case of the controversial army officer, Lt Col Filipo Tarakinikini.

Radio Fiji says this follows Tarakinikini's decision to seek a judicial review of Ratu Josefa Iloilo's decision not to accept his resignation.

Tarakinikini's lawyer, Samuela Matawalu, says his client, who is overseas, has instructed him to challenge the president's decision on the grounds that he was denied natural justice.

Mr Matawalu says this is because the president made his decision without hearing his client's side of the story.

Mr Matawalu says he will also challenge President Iloilo's order to Tarakinikini to return to Fiji.

He says the president has no authority to do this.

Fiji's military has declared Tarakinikini a deserter for refusing to return and as such he faces immediate arrest by military police once he sets foot at Nadi Airport.