Fiji's fugitive officer allowed to enter Australia with Tongan passport: reports

14:31, June 10, 2011      

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Fiji's fugitive former 3FIR Commanding Officer Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara has been granted a Tongan passport while being allowed to enter Australia, local media reported Friday.

According to the reports, Fiji's Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola was advised that Canberra has issued a visa for Mara to travel to Australia, where he will address a meeting in New South Wales on Saturday.

Mara has also applied to travel to New Zealand promising to do all he can to allow Fiji to return to democratic elections sooner and a peaceful return to the barracks of the Fiji military that took over government since 2006.

The New Zealand government is yet to announce whether the visa will be issued to Mara but it is likely that it will after Australia has given the green light.

Kubuabola was disappointed that Australia had so quickly issued a visa to Mara on Tongan travel documents, as Fiji was still waiting for a response from Tonga to Fiji's extradition request.

By interfering, Australia has shown little regard for achieving a resolution to the matter and their action in welcoming a fugitive from Fiji risks an escalation of tension between Fiji and the Australian government, Suva denounced.

Source: Xinhua
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