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Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Fiji PM Frank Bainimarama ‘deeply concerned’ by son’s domestic violence… in Australia

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Frank Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of Fiji, expressed his “great concern” after learning that his son had been accused of a number of assault and domestic abuse offenses in Australia.

In New South Wales, Ratu Meli Bainimarama, 36, is accused with 17 offenses, including common assault, assault resulting in actual bodily harm, stalking, and intentionally strangling a person without their consent.

Additionally, he is charged with knowingly disseminating an intimate image without permission and damaging or destroying property.

The head of a Pacific Island said in a statement that the accusations made against his son disturbed him and his wife and he was attempting to separate the situation from his government, which will be up for election later this year.

“My son is not a member of the Fijian government and this is not a political or diplomatic matter,” Mr Bainimarama said in a written statement.

“Of course, Mary and I are deeply concerned and disturbed about the charges.

“During my service as Prime Minister I have openly and routinely condemned violence perpetrated against women and children, and that commitment is unwavering.”

Mr Bainimarama said it would not be appropriate to comment further while the matter remains before Australian courts.

“My focus must be on my duty to secure a safer and more prosperous future for all Fijian families,” he said.

“In the meantime, I ask the media to allow due process to take its course.”

An Australia-wide suppression order on proceedings had been in place, but it was lifted on Friday by Magistrate Leanne Robinson in Sydney’s Windsor courthouse after it was contested by ABC lawyers.

The attorney for the Fijian national unsuccessfully appealed in court for the continuation of the non-publication, claiming media coverage could affect any upcoming trials.

According to attorney Tony Edward, his client would use “his good character in his defense” in court.

Ratu Meli Bainimarama is out on bond right now, and his case is scheduled to return to court on October 13.

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