19 Jul 2011

Complaint filed with NZ police over Mara on eve of NZ visit

10:02 pm on 19 July 2011

The New Zealand-based Coalition for Democracy in Fiji has filed a criminal complaint about alleged torture with New Zealand police against a former senior Fiji military officer.

Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara arrived in New Zealand last night, having been in Sydney, as part of his regional tour to discuss conditions in Fiji where he faces sedition charges.

Colonel Mara fled Fiji in May aboard a Tonga navy vessel and was given a Tonga passport.

Fiji's regime has been unsuccessful so far in its bid to have him extradited.

The Coalition's Nik Naidu claims Colonel Mara can be held to account under New Zealand law:

"He's alleged to have tortured people; he also committed treason by helping overthrow democracy in Fiji. And under the NZ Crimes of Torture Act (1989) we've made a complaint to the police in New Zealand to investigate, arrest and/or prosecute him when he arrives in New Zealand on that basis."

Nik Naidu

Colonel Mara plans to host public meetings in Auckland and Wellington, including addressing the New Zealand chapters of the Fiji Freedom and Democracy Movement.