23 May 2011

Fiji police say Colonel Mara's escape to Tonga well orchestrated

6:51 am on 23 May 2011

Police in Fiji say the escape of Lieutenant Colonel Ratu Tevita Mara was well orchestrated.

Colonel Mara faces sedition charges and has fled to Tonga.

A police spokesperson, Atunaisa Sokomuri, told local media a number of associates helped Colonel Mara flee and most of these individuals are now being questioned by police.

Meanwhile New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key, is not ruling out allowing Colonel Mara to refuge in this country.

Mr Key says the sanctions New Zealand has imposed on members of the regime in Fiji no longer apply to Colonel Mara, so he and his wife could be granted the right to live in this country if a request was made.