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Navy Officer Demoted, Three Others Fined

Navy Officer Demoted, Three Others Fined
July 25
12:47 2018

A Fijian Navy officer has been demoted and fined along with three others over the grounding of the navy ship (RFNS) Kiro on July 14, 2016.

Lieutenant Samuela Cikaitoga, who was the commanding officer of the RFNS Kiro at the time of the incident, was demoted to substantive Sub Lieutenant by the court martial panel.

He and the other officers, Lieutenant Commander Saula Tuilevuka, Lieutenant Ben Salacakau and Ensign Mike Brown, were given a severe reprimand and fined 28 days pay.

The sentences were handed down by the court martial panel at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks yesterday.

President of the court martial Commander Netani Sukanaivalu told the court, the panel of judges made their decision based on several factors.

These were the fact that it was the officers’ first offence, their unblemished record of service, their mitigating factors, for pleading guilty on the first day of the hearing and considered national security and operational status and readiness of the Fiji Navy.

The court also considered the fact that they were not provided counselling after the incident.

Commander Sukanaivalu said as a result of the grounding the RFNS Kiro was no longer available to the Fiji Navy and it was left with only one vessel.

The court martial panel consisted of Commander Sukanaivalu, Judge Advocate Lieutenant Colonel Jiten Singh, and panel members Lieutenant Commander Enele Ma’afu, Lieutenant Commander Jeke Vakararawa, Major Valu Raumakita and Lieutenant Colonel Jone Tavainavesi. 

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback:  wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj

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