By Netani Rika
VIDEO footage has been released of Fiji’s Prime Minister, Rear-Admiral Frank Bainimarama, assaulting Opposition parliamentarian, Pio Tikoduadua.
The footage – taken on a mobile phone outside Parliament – shows Bainimarama, accompanied by bodyguards, approach and push Tikoduadua on the chest.
In the fracas, Tikoduadua’s glasses fall from his pocket to the road.
After Tikoduadua retrieves the glasses, Bainimarama verbally abuses him and his shouting, while inaudible, is picked up by the camera.
The matter was reported to police two weeks ago.
Bainimarama and Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, denied the incident took place as described by Tikoduadua.
The new footage which was released on several social media platforms appears to support the Opposition’s claims that the MP was assaulted physically and verbally.
The incident occurred minutes after Tikoduadua – a former military officer and later member of Bainimarama’s Cabinet – called Bainimarama out on violence against women in Parliament.
Sayed-Khaiyum claimed in a media conference that Tikoduadua had attacked Bainimarama’s family.
Bainimarama claimed after the incident that he spoke harshly to Tikoduadua who then crushed his own glasses.