18 Jul 2014

Fiji PM denies role in Kean appointment

12:37 pm on 18 July 2014

Fiji's Prime Minister, Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama, says he had nothing to do with the decision to appoint an ex-convict Francis Kean as a public servant.

He made the comment at a public meeting in Kalabu while campaigning for his Fiji First Party, when he was asked how it was possible for a person who was charged and convicted to work in the civil service.

Mr Kean, who is also Rear Admiral Bainimarama's brother-in-law, was the commander of the Fiji Navy when he was convicted of manslaugher in 2007 for beating to death a guest at a family wedding.

After his release, Rear Admiral Bainimarama approved the re-appointment of Francis Kean as navy commander and justified the move by saying he was the best person for the job while rejecting any suggestion the choice was made because of family links.

In 2011, Francis Kean was appointed permanent secretary of works.

According to Fiji Village, the Prime Minister, who holds a raft of portfolios, insists he had nothing to do with the appointment.

However, Rear Admiral Bainimamara says a lot of inmates need a second chance to succeed in life.