Reports on Fiji justice administration concerning: Smith
Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says he is concerned about reports from Fiji that eight soldiers and a police officer recently jailed for manslaughter have been released from prison.
The release follows a new Fijian policy that no police or soldiers will be criminally liable for any deaths they cause in the line of duty.
Mr Smith says Australia is concerned about the administration of justice in Fiji.
“I’m not in a position to confirm the details of those reports that I have seen, but we are very generally concerned about the administration of legal institutions and justice in Fiji,” he said.
“The starting point of the abrogation of the constitution was Commodore Bainimarama refusing to accept the decision of the appeal court.”
Mr Smith has been meeting with his Belgian counterpart, who has confirmed the European Union will continue the suspension of its sugar subsidies to Fiji.
Mr Smith has every right to be concerned, just as we are here in Fiji when men who are obviously guilty as all hell torture and kill their fellow men in peace time and are allowed to get off scott free.
We feel the utmost disgust that the guilty men are allowed to walk free while the families of the young man killed and the other men tortured are left to suffer in silence and despair.
Our heart breaks at the suffering of the Rabaka Family and the men that were tortured.
We hope the healing process is swift and we wish them peace and goodwill forever.
It is so hard to believe that the stories we read of killings and tortures that happen overseas are actually happening in Fiji and has only occurred since the hijacking and rape of this Nation Fiji on 5.12.06. One wonders what type of upbringing these guilty but illegally freed so called soldiers and police personnel had and just how the Fiji military has gone from a respected institution to the most appalling example of the vilest disgusting atrocities that another man can heap upon another.
Read all about it here……………………………….
Graphic accounts of how Fijian soldiers – including two Fiji sevens players – beat a man to death and sexually tortured others are coming out at a murder trial in the western city of Lautoka.
Nineteen-year-old Sakiusa Rabaka was beaten to death by the army just a month after military commander Voreqe Bainimarama staged his December 2006 coup.
His mother, Alanieta Rabaka, mounted an emotional and drawn out regional media campaign to get justice. New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and Australian Prime Minister John Howard took up the case.
Last year eight soldiers and a police officer were arrested. The military had attempted to move the soldiers overseas on United Nations peacekeeping duties but they were taken off a plane just before departure.
In the High Court in Lautoka, Justice Daniel Goundar and a panel of assessors have heard that Mr Rabaka, and other men, were seized by soldiers on January 24, 2007, and taken to the military camp at Black Rock.
He was returned home seriously injured next day and later admitted to hospital. He died on February 22.
The Fiji Times reported today that one witness, Josua Saunaqali, told of being subjected to military torture.
He was ordered to strip to his underwear and perform oral sex.
The military accused them of buying marijuana.
Mr Saunaqali said they were told to strip to their underwear and made to run to three points at which three of the accused were waiting to whip them.
When they failed to keep up with the pace, they were beaten.
They were made to duck-walk carrying a piece of timber. They were also made to crawl on their stomachs without using their arms.
They were beaten and kicked though out.
He said Mr Rabaka was not able to stand the torture and was groaning in pain.
Mr Saunaqali said they pleaded for the torturing of Mr Rabaka to stop because he was just a young boy but it continued.
Mr Saunaqali said he failed to complete a drill and a soldier kicked his chin.
He said a soldier ordered him and another friend to perform oral sex on an unnamed man.
He said he recognised Fiji rugby player Napolioni Naulia as part of the squad.
Those on trial are police officer Patrick Nayacalagilagi and Talone Lua, Ulaiasi Radike, Etonia Nadura, Ratuinaisa Toutou, Joeli Lesavua, Jona Nareki, Ilaisa Kurimavua and Naulia.
Nareki played for the Fiji Sevens in the 2000 Dubai Sevens and Naulia for the team at the South Pacific Games two years ago.