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Tongan laws do not permit Mara’s extradition

Tongan laws do not permit Mara’s extradition

Ratu Tevita Mara
June 25, 2011

On 23rd June 2011 The Government of Tonga announced that they were unable to comply with Fiji’s request to extradite Ratu Tevita Mara.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Tonga sent a Note Verbale on 23 June 2011 to the Foreign Ministry of Fiji in reply to the latter's request for extradition of Ratu Tevita Mara.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Tonga regrets that the Laws of the Kingdom of Tonga do not permit His Majesty’s Government to comply with the aforementioned Extradition Request.”

The Note Verbale from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also conveyed the “assurances of its highest consideration” to the Government of Fiji.

Ratu Tevita Mara in a statement today said “I am obviously very pleased I cannot be extradited back to Fiji. It clearly demonstrates the difference between a democratic country operating under the rule of law compared to a dictatorship operating under the whim of Bainimarama and Khaiyum, the puppet and the puppet master.”

He added “I believe that no country in the free world will send me back to a totalitarian state where it is a crime to criticise the Government. It shows what Fiji has become under Bainimarama; its laws have more in common with North Korea, Burma, Syria and Libya and less like the other Pacific Islands such as PNG, Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.”

Ratu Mara was rescued by a Tongan navy vessel while on a fishing trip. He asked to be taken to Tonga and not returned to Fiji where he faced one charge of using Seditious language. He allegedly said “This Government is F All.”

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