14 Sep 2019

Fiji police haven't reviewed footage of alleged assault by PM - speaker

5:50 am on 14 September 2019

Fiji's secretary-general to parliament says police haven't reviewed a video taken of the prime minister allegedly assaulting an opposition MP.

Parliament last week cleared Frank Bainimarama of assaulting Pio Tikoduadua, who separately was suspended for six months for insulting the prime minister.

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Photo: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat

Parliament's Privileges Committee found no evidence of force by the prime minister but a police investigation is ongoing.

A video of the 9 August incident taken by parliament staff shows Frank Bainimarama grabbing and shoving Pio Tikoduadua.

Critics say the committee has ignored key evidence by excluding the video from proceedings in favour of CCTV footage.

Pio Tikoduadua

Pio Tikoduadua Photo: CC BY-SA 4.0

Parliament's secretary-general, Viniana Namosimalua, told the Fiji Times she has a copy of the footage but police haven't requested it.

Fiji's Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho declined to comment before hanging up on a Fiji Times reporter, the newspaper reported.

Two staffers who filmed the video were last week made to resign after Ms Namosimalua accused them of leaking the video.

But in interviews with local media this week, she said Iliesa Raiduduva, a former administration and education officer, was asked to resign because he breached his contract and parliament neutrality rules by admitting to leaking a copy of the video. Mr Raiduduva denies he's the source of the leak to the anti-government blog Coupfourpointfive, which published the video on its Facebook page.

In local media reports, Ms Namosimalua did not address the resignation of Waisale Tavatuilagi, a former cameraman and video editor, who reportedly was contracted by United Nations Development Programme to work within parliament and will be posted elsewhere.

An online crowdfunding effort organised by opposition MP Lynda Tabuya has raised more than $US4,000 for Mr Raiduduva so far.