RFMF will not be pressing any charges against Ratu Tevita Mara for desertion - Commander

RFMF will not be pressing any charges against Ratu Tevita Mara for desertion - Commander

By Vijay Narayan
Thursday 25/05/2023

The Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Major General Jone Kalouniwai states that the RFMF will not be pressing any charges against former senior military officer, Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara for desertion.

Major General Kalouniwai says with the growing interest in the recent return of Ratu Tevita back into the country, there has been a lot of hype surrounding the possibility of him facing a General Court Martial due to claims that he was a Deserter, contrary to section 37 (2) (a) of the Army Act 1955.

The Army Commander says the RFMF wishes to advise that Ratu Tevita Mara applied for his resignation of Commission and discharge from the RFMF on the 29th of March 2011.

This was approved by the Commander of the RFMF on the 31st of March 2011 and subsequently gazetted on the 20th of May 2011.

Major General Kalouniwai says this effectively meant that Ratu Tevita was no longer a member of the RFMF, hence no longer subjected to military law from 31st March 2011 onwards.

The Commander says Ratu Tevita absconded Fiji on 9th May 2011 while facing a sedition charge from the State in the Magistrates Court.

Meanwhile Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions, Lee Burney, has already decided that there will be no reinstatement of charges against Ratu Tevita following a review of the matter.

The Assistant DPP says following a review of the police file and the evidence, there was insufficient evidence to support any criminal charges.

The docket has been returned to police with the instructions that Ratu Tevita’s name be removed from the watch list and no further action is required.

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