10 Jun 2011

NZ pro-democracy group says escaped Fiji Colonel should be denied entry

8:55 am on 10 June 2011

An Auckland based pro-democracy group says the former Fiji colonel, Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, should not be allowed entry into New Zealand.

Ratu Tevita escaped to Tonga last month, but Fiji is seeking his extradition on a sedition charge.

He arrived in Australia yesterday and wants to come to New Zealand next, to talk to supporters and, if he can, meet with government officials.

But Nik Naidu from the Coalition for Democracy in Fiji says he doesn't trust Colonel Mara.

"How come for four years he wasn't and suddenly he's seen the light and possibly just because he's been removed from the military and it's a case of sour grapes, we feel. He really is one of the worst type of officers in Fiji. He's the one who led a lot of the arrests, illegal detentions and tortures."

Nik Naidu says his group will send a letter to the government today opposing Colonel Mara's visit.