20 Sep 2011

New Zealand denies claims it's biased towards Fiji's judiciary

3:17 pm on 20 September 2011

New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs says New Zealand does work co-operatively in criminal matters with any country including Fiji.

This comes after a Fiji judge Justice Salesi Temo was quoted by the website Fijivillage last week as saying that New Zealand is against Fiji's judiciary and that there is no co-operation from New Zealand in judicial matters.

Justice Temo made the comment while presiding over the case of a bailed defendant seeking permission to visit New Zealand this week.

He also said Fiji couldn't get people back after they absconded to New Zealand.

A spokesperson for the Ministry says under the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, countries, including New Zealand, provide assistance to each other in criminal investigations and prosecutions.

The Fiji regime failed in an extradition bid this year when it sought New Zealand's help to return a coup co-conspirator, Ratu Tevita Mara, who was wanted for skipping bail while being charged with sedition.