11 Sep 2002

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

10:27 am on 11 September 2002

The lawyer for controversial Fiji army officer, Lt. Col Filipo Tarakinikini, says he expects a high court ruling shortly on whether the army should have accepted his client's resignation.

Samuela Matawalu says Lt Col Tarakinikini will remain in the United States until the decision is handed down at the end of this week or early next week.

The army officer, who was implicated in the army mutiny following the coup by the leader of the rebel soldiers, Captain Shane Stevens, has consistently refused to return to Fiji.

Lt. Col Tarakinikini had tendered his resignation to the army which declined to process it.

Mr Matawalu says as a result of the civil proceedings which his client initiated, the army has now processed the application and it's gone to the president as the commander in chief of the army.

"The important point is that the president is not acting, I presume pending the outcome of the proceedings presently before the High Court."

Mr Matawalu says that Lt. Col Tarakinikini is likely to remain in New York and pursue his career with the United Nations.