7 Dec 2005

Fiji finance ministry defies court, deducts military boss pay

7:33 pm on 7 December 2005

The Fiji finance ministry has defied a High Court order to stop deducting the military commander's pay for overspending their budget in 2003.

Radio Fiji reports that the ministry is continuing to deduct Commodore Frank Bainimarama's salary at the rate of 230 US dollars a fortnight.

The radio says in October this year, Suva High Court judge, Jiten Singh, quashed the surcharge of 30,000 US dollars for overspending the military budget by almost 4.8 million US dollars.

The judge said Commodore Bainimarama explanation for the expenditure was not heard properly.

But the acting chief executive of the finance ministry, Paula Uluinaceva, ordered the deductions to continue.

The military's legal team headed by Major Kitione Tuinausara has written to the finance ministry saying its insistence on deducting Commodore Bainimarama's pay is in clear breach of the High Court order.

Major Tuinausara says unless the deductions are stopped, it will be forced to ask the High Court to compel the ministry to abide by its ruling.