14 Nov 2007

Fiji high chief fined for punching Bainimarama's son

11:16 am on 14 November 2007

A high chief of Bau in Fiji has been fined 300 US-dollars for punching the 21-year old son of the interim prime minister, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, 47, threw the punch at Private Meli Bainimarama in a Suva nightclub early in causing soft tissue injuries.

Suva magistrate John Semisi noted that alcohol played a big part in the incident and the chief should have exercised more restraint given the large age difference between him and his victim.

Mr Semisi said people in positions of authority, particularly traditional leaders, need to lead by example and show tolerance towards others in the light of the present situation in the country.

He ordered that 180 US-dollars of the fine be given to Meli Bainimarama as compensation.

The magistrate will hand down his sentence for Ratu Epenisa's guilty plea to disorderly at a later date.