10 Sep 2002

Fiji's high court to hand down ruling on resignation of controversial army officer

5:16 pm on 10 September 2002

Fiji's high court is expected to hand down a ruling shortly on whether the army should have accepted the resignation of controversial officer, Lt. Col. Filipo Tarakinikini.

His lawyer, Samuela Matawalu, says he's been informed by the registrar that a decision will be made by the end of this week or early next week.

Lt Col Tarakinikini, who's in the United States and is refusing to return to Fiji, was implicated in the army mutiny following the coup, by the leader of the rebel soldiers, Captain Shane Stevens.

He had tendered his resignation to the army which refused to process it.

Mr Matawalu, who brought the civil case, says the army has apparently now acted.

"As a result of these proceedings, they've done what they aught to've done, and apparently, the resignation and their recommendation for and against, is now with the president."

Mr Matawalu says it appears the president is not acting on the recommendation until the decision of the court is known.

He also says Lt. Col Tarakinikini is remaining in New York and plans to pursue his career with the United Nations.