23 Sep 2005

Mystery over disappearance of recording of Fiji Senate session

9:25 am on 23 September 2005

The Fiji Senate's privileges committee is unable to investigate charges of misconduct against government and Great Council of Chiefs senators because audiotape recordings of the relevant proceedings are missing.

Those facing misconduct charges are the attorney general Qoriniasi Bale, Great Council of Chiefs senator Ratu George Cakobau and the senate president, Taito Waqavakatoga.

The chair of the Senate privileges committee, Adi Koila Nailatikau Mara, says she can't understand how the recordings could have gone missing.

Radio Legend reports that its sources say one of the technicians deliberately turned off the recording equipment when Senator George Cakobau made derogatory remarks to Labour senator, Dr Atu Emberson-Bain.

Adi Koila says the matter is very disturbing because the recording was part of the evidence needed to determine whether senate privileges were breached.