24 Jun 2011

Tonga rejects Fiji bid to extradite former officer Mara

8:22 pm on 24 June 2011

The Tongan government has advised Fiji that former military senior officer, Lieutenant Colonel Tevita Uluilakeba Mara, won't be extradited.

Fiji requested his extradition last month after Colonel Mara escaped Fiji while on bail on a sedition charge.

Tonga says a diplomatic note sent to Fiji states that due to Tongan laws, the government is unable to extradite him.

Colonel Mara has been issued with a Tongan passport and he has visited Australia.

A former coup co-conspirator, he has since denounced the human rights abuses by the interim regime and called for a return to democracy.

Fiji has said it will lodge an extradition request with every country which Colonel Mara may visit.