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FIJI’S NATIONAL BROADCASTER CALLED ON CARPET Five employees of Fiji Broadcasting Corp. called before military

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March 5, 2008) - Five employees of the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Limited appeared before senior military officers in Suva today following a story that was aired by the station regarding allegations of tax evasion charges relating to the Interim Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry.

[PIR editor’s note: Fiji Broadcasting Corporation is a government-operated radio station providing nationwide AM and FM community broadcasts in three languages: Fijian, Hindustani (Indo-Fijian) and English.]

News Director Iowane Burese, senior journalists Masi Latianara, Apisalome Coka, Atunaisa Sokomuri and Sunia Cama were all summoned to appear before the head of the army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba and Lieutenant Colonel Sitiveni Qiliho.

One of the journalists, Atunaisa Sokomuri, spoke to Fijilive soon after the inquiry, saying that they were told to appear before the military officers regarding a story the station aired Tuesday afternoon.

Sokomuri confirmed that they had initially run a story saying that the 3FIR had supported the call for Chaudhry to step down so that investigations into his alleged tax evasion charges could be investigated.

"They called us up to clarify our position regarding the story but they finally gave in to us when we explained to them what actually was broadcasted and we had the script to show them."

Sokomuri said that it was all a misunderstanding between what was broadcasted that day and what actually was claimed by the military.

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