A High Court in Fiji has ordered a former Opposition MP to pay almost $US40,000 to the Attorney-General in a defamation case.
The former Social Democratic Liberal Party MP has also been ordered to pay court costs of $US2500 to the senior government official.
Ratu Isoa Tikoca was sued by Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum over comments the former SODELPA MP had made during an interview with the Sydney Community Radio Station in Australia in 2018.
On Monday, Justice Vishwa Sharma ruled Ratu Isoa's conduct was high-handed, insolent and vindictive.
Justice Sharma said the Fijian chief had exhibited a contumelious disregard of Mr Sayed-Khaiyum's rights and status.
The judge then ordered Ratu Isoa to pay compensatory and punitive damages within 30 days from the date of the judgment.
Ratu Isoa was also ordered to render in writing a public retraction and apology to Sayed-Khaiyum in prominent print to be published in a daily newspaper circulating in Fiji within 14 days of the judgment.