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Re: Mrs Alisi Tabete

PRESS RELEASE – Tuesday 20 November 2007

Frances Joychild, New Zealand lawyer for Mrs Alisi Tabete, says Mrs Tabete wishes to put the record straight in relation to statements that have been circulated about her in the media yesterday and today.

Frances Joychild says “Mrs Tabete is in New Zealand on a valid visa and has stayed on following the World Netball Games as initially planned, to holiday with family. Her husband is not in the military. He is a senior public servant. Her son is a farmer and non-active member of the RFMF. Mrs Tabete sought no special favours from the New Zealand government to come here. Her visa application was processed routinely.”

“Mrs Tabete was allowed to travel by the Interim Government. Her lawyer in Fiji, Devanesh Sharma, advises that, as of yesterday’s date, Mrs Tabete had not been cautioned, interviewed or charged by FICAC and as such there is no legally binding document or court order that compels her immediate return to Fiji. FICAC have been investigating the Fiji Sports Council since December 2006 and to date they have not filed any charges.”

“Mrs Tabete denies absolutely that she engaged in any corruption while Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Sports Council. She is a loyal Fijian and has worked extremely hard over the years to further the interests of Fiji sport both nationally and internationally. The Council’s accounts were audited annually either by KPMG or Price Waterhouse Coopers and then signed off by the Government auditor. She is alarmed by the trial by media that is taking place”.

“ Mrs Tabete also denies absolutely the conversations she is reported to have had with Fiji Times reporter Otilly Rabuka as reported in the Fiji Times newspaper yesterday. She denies ever having had such the conversations and says the statements are fabricated. Upon her return she will be challenging the Fiji Times and journalist as to the authenticity of such statements before the Courts”.

No comments further to this Press Release will be made by Mrs Tabete.

ENDS

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