Son of Fijian PM charged with domestic violence in Australia

By Rek Hanibal Published on September 16, 2022
Son of Fijian PM charged with domestic violence in Australia

Ratu Meli Bainimarama, 36, is facing 17 charges, including stalking, assault, and choking.

He is also accused of damaging property and distributing an intimate image without consent.

Mr Bainimarama has not entered a plea but will "rely on his good character" in any defence, his lawyer said.

The offences allegedly took place in Sydney between February and May, but Mr Bainimarama was arrested last week after a police report was made earlier this month.

The Fijian national's lawyer had successfully applied for a nationwide suppression order on the case over the weekend.

He had argued that risk information that wouldn't be allowed in court would be published and prejudice a jury.

But a magistrate lifted the suppression order on Friday morning, saying there was nothing extraordinary about the case that warrants secrecy.

Mr Bainimarama has been granted bail, and his matter is due back in court on October 13.

He is the only son of Frank Bainimarama, who has been in power since 2007 after leading a military coup the year before. 

The case is awkward for the politician, who will face another former PM - Sitivena Rabuka - in an election later this year.

Rek Hanibal

Rek Hanibal

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