27 Jun 2011

Mara says illegality of Fiji regime thwarted extradition bid put to Tonga

1:26 pm on 27 June 2011

The former Fiji senior military officer, Lieutenant Col Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, says Tonga's rejection of an extradition request from Suva for him is based on the illegality of Fiji's interim regime.

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

Late last week, Tonga's government told Fiji that due to Tongan laws, it was unable to extradite him.

Col Mara, who has been issued with a Tongan passport, says the decision shows that Tonga's democratically elected government recognises international laws.

"The basis is, first of all, since Fiji has abrogated its constitution - that's one of the issues they've brought up. And I think it had to do with the particular charge that Fiji was referring to; and also the illegal system in Fiji which is heavily biased towards the regime."

Lieutenant Col Tevita Uluilakeba Mara