10 Feb 2005

Fiji police on watch to arrest Lautoka mayor

8:17 am on 10 February 2005

Fiji police are maintaining a watch on the country's two international airports to arrest the Labour Party mayor of Lautoka City when he returns.

Late last month the Lautoka magistrate's court issued a warrant for the arrest of Rajendra Gounder when he failed to appear to answer to charges of assaulting a school teacher and using abusive language.

Gounder took two months leave from the Lautoka City Council and left with his family for a holiday in Australia.

But he failed to return at the end of last month.

The Labour Party leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, has told Radio Legend that he has not been able to find out when Gounder will return.

But Mr Chaudhry says as soon as Gounder returns, the party will take disciplinary action against him for not attending to the duties of his office and not appearing for his court case.

The minister for local government dismissed Gounder as mayor last year but he clung on to the position after using council funds to obtain an injunction.

He was subsequently under investigation for abusing council funds.