Posts tagged Australia

Fijian AG Sayed-Khaiyum – Put International Obligations Over Politics

The Fijian Government presented a cheque to the Australian Government today for funds restrained and forfeited in Fiji involving an Australian fraud case.

The cheque – worth FJ$88,974.97 – was for funds that had been recovered from two bank accounts held in Fiji by Mr Ross William Macarthur, who had defrauded the Australian Government by failing to pay certain excise duties, owed by his company Concourse Oil Pty Limited.

Speaking after the presentation, Attorney-General Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said that the Bainimarama Government has and will always fulfill its international obligations, in this case providing legal assistance to the Australian Government.

“No matter what the status of our diplomatic relations with another nation, this Government is committed to acting as a good international citizen and will never shirk its obligation to work with others to combat international and transnational crime and fulfil any of its legal obligations,” he said.

The Attorney-General said that it is unfortunate that some countries have let their foreign policy agenda effect their cooperation in combating crime and providing mutual assistance.

“The Bainimarama Government has taken a different position: an apolitical approach. Foreign policy should not and cannot ever be an excuse for our law enforcement agencies not to join forces in the fight against the many different types of crime and transnational crime we face in the region and globally,” he said.

Fijian Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum presents a cheque to the Australian Government

Statement From The Acting Prime Minister And Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

The statement by the Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, that Fiji is “diminished” by not accepting a nomination for the position of Australian High Commissioner in Suva is gratuitous and unwarranted.

How is Fiji diminished? It is exercising its sovereign right like all other countries do in approving, as a host country, a nominee of another country for a diplomatic mission.

The statement indicates, yet again, that Australia’s attitude to Fiji is prescriptive and highhanded. Rather than deal with Fiji as an equal, it expects our country to say “yes” to everything Australia proposes.

Fijians have a wonderful relationship with ordinary Australians, who we regard as valued friends. All of which makes it disappointing that the Australian Government refuses to engage in a constructive manner.

The Bainimarama Government is creating the first genuine parliamentary democracy in Fiji’s history next year of one person, one vote, one value and the removal of the legal enforcement of ethnic voting. All of the former major political parties are registered to contest the elections in September 2014. The Bainimarama Government has consistently said that the 2014 elections will be free, fair and transparent, unlike previous ones.

We again invite Canberra to participate in that process and put aside their unwarranted posturing.

Attorney-General Sayed-Khaiyum Speaks at Fiji Australia Business Council (FABC)