22 Dec 2005

Stop meddling, Fiji military tells senior bureaucrats

9:37 am on 22 December 2005

Fiji's military commander has called on senior public servants to stop meddling in the affairs of the military.

Commodore Bainimarama says the chief executives of home affairs and the Public Service Commission, Lesi Korovavala and Anare Jale, have no business with the military.

The Fiji Times reports that the fresh row has been ignited by the inability of the military to convene a court martial because the ministry of home affairs would not proceed with the commissioning of Graham Leung as judge advocate.

Mr Korovavala is questioning the proposed payment of US$78,000 to Mr Leung and has suggested US$18,000 instead.

But Commodore Bainimarama says the payment is in line with what was paid to the former judge advocate, retired judge Sarvadanand Sadal.

He says the issue is sensitive as there is a lot of politics involved while the US$78,000 dollars is not sensitive and will come out of the military budget.

Commodore Bainimarama says "no one is going to intimidate the military… not Mr Korovavala and not Anare Jale."

He has challenged them to make his day by taking him to task in front of the Public Service Commission.