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Tenakoon alleges people prosecuted for political reasons

By Bruce Hill MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Aug. 15, 2011) – A former senior staffer with the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) says people in the country have been prosecuted for political reasons.

Madhawa Tenakoon held a senior position with FICAC but was dismissed by the military regime along with two other senior colleagues.

[PIR editor's note: Tennakoon went on record in March 2011 for the FICAC during a hearing for Laisenia Qarase and former managing director of Fijian Holdings Ltd. Sitiveni Weleilakeba. Tennakoon brought issue with the agreed facts of the case not being finalized, pending further disclosure.]

He alleges the government was directing the commission to pursue investigations, when there was no basis for it to do so.

Mr. Tenakoon says there's no rule of law and no democracy in Fiji while the military is running the legal system.

The Sri Lankan lawyer told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat he originally accepted the job of prosecutor because he was told he'd be taking on a pioneering role in the fight against corruption in Fiji.

He says after about six months in the job he realized there was government interference in pursuing some cases and ignoring others.

Fiji's Attorney General has rejected the claims.

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says Mr. Tenakoon was sacked for poor-performance.

The Attorney General says the United Nations is quite happy with the progress being made with Fiji's anti-corruption legislation.

[PIR editor's note: FICAC recorded a one-hundred percent increase in complaints against corruption in government.]

Meanwhile, one of the people pursued by the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Imrana Jalal, says she hopes to file a malicious prosecution case based on what Madhawa Tenakoon has alleged.

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