18 Sep 2002

Court rules that Fiji top officer's resignation stands

10:55 am on 18 September 2002

A Fiji high court judge has ordered the government to accept the resignation of Lieutenant-Colonel Filipo Tarakinikini who has been accused of involvement in the country's coup and mutiny in 2000.

Fiji TV reports that Justice John Byrnes ruled in favour of the former officer who fought an army demand that he return to Fiji from the US to testify in the court-martial of those held for the mutiny.

The military also wants him to answer questions in relation to his alleged involvement in the coup fronted by George Speight whose brother says the coup could only happen with the military's support.

Up until March this year Lieutenant-Colonel Tarakinikini was serving in the United Nations Peacekeeping office in New York and has not returned home.

He is believed to be working as a bodyguard in New York for a private individual.