‘Ratu Tevita Fled from Dictatorship’
Pita Driti and Ratu Tevita held key positions in the military in 2006, when former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was in power.
Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara fled Fiji because he was running away a dictatorial governfrom ment.
This was the claim made by former Lieutenant-Colonel, Pita Driti, when the Fiji Sun visited his residence at Wailoku yesterday.
Mr Driti was asked about his stance regarding the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP) decision not to reinstate charges against Ratu Tevita, he said: “The only thing I can say is, he (Ratu Tevita) left, he took off because he was running away from a dictatorial government.”
Mr Driti and Ratu Tevita held key positions in the military in 2006, when former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was in power. They unexpectedly forfeited their positions as commanders of the Third Fiji Infantry Regiment and the Land Force in October 2010, respectively. Both were accused of sedition in May 2011, and Mr Driti was also accused of inciting a mutiny.
Following this, Ratu Tevita fled to Tonga, sparking a diplomatic row.
The military administration claimed that Mr Driti and Ratu Tevita had planned to overthrow Bainimarama at the time of his trial in November 2013.
Judge Paul Madigan sentenced Mr Driti to five years in jail with a minimum fouryear period before parole eligibility on December 13, 2013.
He was granted weekend release from prison in December 2017. Following his release in February 2018 Driti made a traditional apology to Mr Bainimarama and senior RFMF officers.
Meanwhile, attempts to get comments from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Commander, Major General Ro Jone Kalouniwai remained unanswered when this edition went to press.
RATU TEVITA ABSENT: VASU
Despite being listed as one of the three representatives from Lau Province, Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara (Roko Ului) was notably absent from the meeting.
The Minister of
Affairs Ifereimi Vasu confirmed this last night. Roko Ului was seen leaving Bau yesterday afternoon when the council members gathered for a photoshoot.
He appeared to be keeping his whereabouts secretive. “I was told that Roko Ului was expected to arrive at 11am. However, I have not seen him, and I am unaware of his situation,” Mr Vasu said.
“Although his name was on the list, he did not attend the meeting.”
Roko Ului arrived in Fiji last Saturday from Tonga. >WATI