25 Jan 2005

Fiji man pleads guilty to attacking Australian High Commissioner in Suva

6:13 pm on 25 January 2005

A Fijian man has today pleaded guilty to attacking Australian High Commissioner Jennifer Rawson during a robbery in the capital Suva earlier this month.

The Fiji Live website says 20 year old Panapasa Sulua, made the plea in the Suva Magistrates Court to a robbery with violence charge.

Sulua faces a maximum 10-year sentence for the crime.

Ms Rawson is recuperating in Australia after undergoing surgery in a Sydney hospital for a broken jaw and other facial injuries suffered in the attack.

A High Commission spokesman says she is out of hospital and will be returning to Fiji next week.

Ms Rawson was attacked when jogging near her Suva residence in the early morning of January 8 in what police described as a crime of opportunity.

Two High Commission staff were also robbed by three armed men a few days later and suffered minor injuries, prompting an upgrade in security at the Australian mission.