26 Mar 2007

Third senior military officer in Fiji appointed to government department

6:19 am on 26 March 2007

A senior military officer in Fiji says his appointment as acting permanent secretary for Justice will not compromise the independence of the judiciary.

Lieutenant-Colonel Pio Tikoduadua said he would only see to the administration of the Ministry of Justice.

He is the third military officer to be seconded to a senior position at a government department; the other two are at immigration and agriculture.

Lieutenant-Colonel Tikoduadua told the Fiji Times that he was there was until a permanent appointment was made to the position.

He said he was not a lawyer, and his only legal experience was when he was a court officer 20 years ago.

A former Justice Ministry chief executive officer, Sakiusa Rabuka, said the ministry's permanent secretary or anyone acting in that position should be legally experienced as the responsibilities and obligations involved would require the person to understand legal issues.