15 Jul 2011

Fiji says Australia rebuffs Mara extradition bid

4:59 pm on 15 July 2011

Fiji has criticised Australia's response to its request to extradite a former senior Fiji military officer, Lieutenant Colonel Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, who is wanted for skipping bail after being charged with sedition.

Fiji's Solicitor General Christopher Pryde has told FBC News that the Australian Government couldn't even have the courtesy of considering the application and so they have sent it back.

He says he has been advised by the Australian Attorney General's Office which stated the reasons for not granting the extradition request.

The report gives no details of the Australian response but Mr Pryde says Fiji considers none of the reasons as being valid.

Last month, Tonga also turned down an extradition request shortly after it issued a passport to Col Mara.

Fiji says it will seek his extradition from every country he visits.

Since leaving Fiji in May, Col Mara has accused his coup co-conspirator and coup leader, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, of serious human rights abuses and asked police to investigate.