24 Jun 2011

Tonga rejects Fiji bid to extradite former officer Mara

4:46 pm on 24 June 2011

The Tongan government has advised Fiji that a former Fiji senior officer, Lieutenant Col Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, won't be extradited.

Fiji requested his extradition last month after Col Mara escaped Fiji while being on bail on a sedition charge.

A government statement issued in Nuku'alofa says a diplomatic note sent to Fiji states that due to Tongan laws, the government is unable to extradite him.

Col Mara has been issued with a Tongan passport and he has visited Australia.

As a former coup co-conspirator, he has denounced the human rights abuses by the interim regime and called for a return to democracy.

Fiji has said it will lodge an extradition request with every country which Col Mara may visit.