12 Oct 2006

Controversial Fiji army officer deemed not suitable to be commissioner of prisons

7:00 pm on 12 October 2006

Fiji's public service commission has determined that the controversial army officer facing court martial, Lt Col Jone Baledrokadroka, is not a suitable person for appointment as the next commissioner of prisons.

Radio Fiji reports that the commission was also not satisfied with another person who had been shortlisted for the position.

The radio quotes the chairman of the PSC, Stuart Huggett, as saying the position will be re-advertised locally as well as overseas.

Fiji's military had strongly objected to the shortlisting and possible appointment of Lt Col Baledrokadroka saying he was still a military officer subject to military law who would be court martialled this month.

The military had expressed fears that if the officer was appointed to head the prisons, he would start releasing high profile coup prisoners who are serving time behind bars.

The military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, had stressed that the military would not allow the appointment to take place.