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Second extradition attempt

Shalveen Chand
Friday, May 09, 2014

THE State will try another attempt to extradite former military chief of staff Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara from Australia.

The State informed the Magistrates Court in Suva yesterday they would no longer proceed against Mr Mara in absentia.

Mr Mara was charged with sedition, however, he fled to Tonga and then to Australia in May 2011. He went on to become a Tongan citizen before leaving for Australia.

The prosecution under the 2013 Constitution had made the application to try Mr Mara in absentia, meaning the trial could go ahead without the accused present.

Yesterday, Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili was told the State had decided to start extradition proceedings again.

The court also ordered a bench warrant be executed on Mr Mara.

The State's earlier extradition attempt was declined by Australia. The case will be called on June 27.

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