28 September, 2023, 7:30 pm Central - 22°C Rain

Three RFMF and one Police investigation conducted into the 2000 coup found no evidence of wrongdoing by Tarakinikini

Three RFMF and one Police investigation conducted into the 2000 coup found no evidence of wrongdoing by Tarakinikini

By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 14/03/2023
Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and Lt. Col. Filipo Tarakinikini

The Fijian government states that the three RFMF and one Police investigation conducted into the 2000 coup found no evidence of wrongdoing by Lt Colonel Filipo Tarakinikini.

The government says this means the Fiji Labour Party allegations that Tarakinikini supported the 2000 coup and that he attended meetings with Apisai Tora and Police Commissioner Isikia Savua are false and totally unfounded as revealed in the four investigations.

It has also been revealed that prior to the 2000 coup, Lt Col Tarakinikini, amongst a number of other RFMF senior military officers had applied for a position in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York.

The government says it was a competitive process and Lt Col Tarakinikini was selected on merit however it says due to interferences from those behind a smear campaign against Tarakinikini, the UN withdrew the job offer.

It says when the then Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase became aware that Lt Col Tarakinikini was the victim of a smear campaign, Qarase requested the UN Secretary General to restore the job offer from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

It has been confirmed that Lt Col Tarakinikini only worked for the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations for one year.

He resigned from the RFMF in 2002 and the Army Commander at the time, Voreqe Bainimarama, refused to accept his resignation.

Lt Col Tarakinikini sought relief from the High Court in Suva and won his case, because no evidence could be provided to the court to support the allegations against him. The Appeals Court and Supreme Court then ruled otherwise. Lt Col Tarakinikini has worked for UNDP from 2003 until 2018.

During these fifteen years he was assigned by UNDP to Jerusalem, Kathmandu, Islamabad, the Darfur region of Sudan, Yemen and Libya.

These are some of the most high risk and complex UN operations.

From 2018 until he took early retirement in December 2022, Lt Col (retired) Tarakinikini worked for the UN Secretariat in New York as the UNDSS Chief of Section of the Middle East and North Africa region.

Former Army Commander and former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama had made numerous public threats in the Fiji media against Lt Colonel Tarakinikini; even including a media report that Lt Col Tarakinikini would be arrested and extradited to Fiji to face charges.

Lt Col Tarakinikini returned to Fiji for the first time in over two decades in July 2022 while the Bainimarama government was still in office.

The only issue that is shown in the Immigration database in Nadi is that he should contact the Fiji Revenue Customs Service to deal with his Tax Returns from 1997 to 2000.

The statement says he is collaborative with FRCS to resolve this issue.

The government says to hold Lt Col Tarakinikini responsible for the actions of George Speight and Shane Stevens is the height of absurdity.

It says both individuals were charged and convicted through the due process of law.

The government says Lt Col Tarakinikini was subjected to due process and was totally cleared of any wrongdoing.

It further says the RFMF investigations cleared Lt Col Tarakinikini of any wrongdoing.

The government says Lt Colonel Viliame Seruvakula was in command of 3FIR and Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama was in command of the RFMF prior to during and after the 2000 coup.

It says Lt Col Tarakinikini on the other hand was pursuing academic studies and was actually sitting his MBA accounting exam at USP on the day the 2000 coup took place.

It further says Lt Col Tarakinikini was not in command of any troops in 2000.

The government says when requested by the acting Commander Colonel Alfred Tuatoko, Tarakinikini eventually played a significant part in the resolution of the 2000 coup as military spokesman and military negotiator.

Tarakinikini has been appointed as Fiji’s Acting Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.

Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka has stated that the position will be advertised and Tarakinikini is expected to apply.

On the allegations made against Tarakinikini, Deputy Prime Minister, Manoa Kamikamica says that is a matter that the media can get addressed from Tarakinikini.

Tarakinikini has not made any comments.

fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
Tamavua Action Group to petition against development close to Princes Road cliff edge
Members of the Tamavua Action Group who are residents in the Tamavua area are now gathering signatures to protest against the development close to the...
3 hours ago
Fuel and gas prices to increase from Sunday
Get ready to fork out more money as fuel and gas prices will increase from Sunday. The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission says unleaded ...
38 minutes ago

One of the biggest challenges faced in relation to reporting and dealing with gender based violence is the Fiji Police - Ali
Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre Coordinator, Shamima Ali says one of the biggest challenges faced in relation to the reporting and dealing with gender ...
2 hours ago

Fiji to have $3b tourism industry by December this year
Fiji will have a $3 billion dollar tourism economy by this December, ahead of the anticipated time of the end of next year. This has been ...
2 hours ago

Qiliho maintains he did not direct officers to close investigations
Former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police Commissioner Sitiveni Qiliho’s lawyer Devanesh Sharma and the Acting Director of ...
2 hours ago

France secures second win of Mini 7s leg 2 beating Aussie Green 28-14
The French Women's 7s side secured their second win of the Fiji Airways Mini International 7s tournament leg 2 after a 28-14 win over the Aussie ...
5 hours ago
EBayShop Online Recruitment scam
The Consumer Council of Fiji has issued a public alert about a group of individuals running a deceptive pyramid scheme known as “EbayShop Online Recruitment.”
3 days ago

7 Grace Road Group executives declared prohibited immigrants in Fiji after decisions by the South Korean Government and a request by Interpol
7 Grace Road executives in Fiji have been declared prohibited immigrants by the Fijian Government, it has been made clear through government ...
3 days ago

Bainimarama and Qiliho’s trial
The trial of former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Commissioner of Police Sitiveni Qiliho begins
41 days ago