6 Aug 2019

Fiji govt official stands firm on comments regarding Grace Road

1:33 pm on 6 August 2019

A senior public servant in Fiji says there was no need to investigate the Grace Road Church, whose leader was jailed in South Korea last week.

Shin Ok-ju, the founder of Grace Road Church, has been arrested in South Korea, accused of enslaving some 400 followers in Fiji.

Shin Ok-ju, the founder of Grace Road Church, has been arrested in South Korea, accused of enslaving some 400 followers in Fiji. Photo: Grace Road Church

Shin Ok-ju was jailed for six years for enslaving hundreds of followers in Fiji, and forcing them to work in cult-run businesses.

In the wake of the sentencing, opposition leader Sitiveni Rabuka called for the permanent secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister, Yogesh Karan, to resign for saying it didn't need to be investigated.

Mr Karan said he stands by his August statement, because none of the cult members in Fiji had breached their visa conditions.

He also accused the government of turning a blind eye to Grace Road to preserve business links.

However, Mr Karan said Ok-ju was charged by a Korean court not a Fijian one and that issue was between the church and its members.

If Fijian authorities find there has been abuse and visa conditions have been breached then appropriate action will be taken, he said.

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