The confirmation by the Acting Police Commissioner, Juki Fong Chew, that the Cyber Crime Unit of the Force is examining a complaint against Grubsheet by Lynda Tabuya in relation to an allegedly fake photograph we published raises a number of pressing questions.
Is the Fiji Police Force also investigating other images that Lynda Tabuya sent to her fellow minister, Aseri Radrodro, and especially the contents of text messages between the two that refer to drug-taking on her part?
In leaked messages evidently from Room 233 of the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne, the Minister for Women refers to having “plenty of weed” – presumably marijuana – and Aseri Radrodro specifically advises her to “lay off the weed”.
In relation to the complaint against Grubsheet, Juki Fong Chew mentions the possible involvement of the cyber crime units of the Australian police, presumably the New South Wales Police because that is where Grubsheet resides or the Australian Federal Police.
It is highly unlikely that the Australian authorities would agree to do what the Fiji Police have clearly done – to act on the complaint of a politician against a journalist that involves just one allegedly fake image when other images posted by that politician are so clearly in the public interest and contain evidence of illicit drug-taking by a visiting Fijian politician on Australian soil.
On the contrary, they are likely to be far more concerned about the activities of Lynda Tabuya in Australia than anything Grubsheet – as a professional journalist – might have said about her. Australia is not Fiji, where the police have a record of routinely acting on the instructions of politicians.
In the light of his willingness to confirm the police investigation sparked by Lynda Tabuya, perhaps Juki Fong Chew might care to provide the nation with confirmation of the renewed investigation into the alleged bombing campaign of 1987 and answer the following questions:
1/ Can you please provide us with a progress report of that investigation by a CID Headquarters Taskforce led by Inspector Suliasi Dulaki.
2/ Can you confirm that the subject of this investigation is – as leaked official correspondence describes it – the “Veronica Malani bombing case in 1987, whereby former AG, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, was alleged to be involved”.
3/ Can you confirm that the police also intend to question other of Khaiyum’s associates who were allegedly part of the Indo-Fijian resistance movement against Sitiveni Rabuka’s 1987 regime.
4/ Can you confirm that the list of individuals provided to the Taskforce includes the prominent Suva lawyer, Richard Naidu, and six other individuals who are reportedly not covered by the immunity provisions relating to the 1987 coup.
5/ What is the progress of these enquiries and has the Taskforce interviewed Richard Naidu and other individuals on that list?
In an email to Grubsheet on Nov 2 2023, Richard Naidu strongly denied any allegation of involvement in the bombings of 1987 and threatened to sue Grubsheet in New South Wales (see below) if we didn’t withdraw Facebook references to this and other allegations and apologise. This we refused to do.
Almost three months later, Grubsheet is still to receive the “letter of concern” that is the statutory precursor to any defamation proceedings in NSW. But we repeat that we will be strongly defending any such action on the grounds of truth and/or qualified privilege because as Chair of the Coalition’s Fiscal Review Committee and long-time advisor to the NFP, Richard Naidu is a public figure who deserves to be held accountable. We also very much appreciate the offer from another prominent Suva lawyer, Devanesh Sharma, to assist Grubsheet if Naidu proceeds with his action.
We now know for a fact that Richard Naidu is on a list in the possession of the CID Taskforce of those who are alleged to have been part of the 1987 campaign. And we look to the Police Commissioner to confirm this and provide details of the investigation.
In relation to our allegations against Lynda Tabuya over the incriminating emails and photographs that are at the centre of a national furore, Grubsheet, by inference, cops a pasting in today’s Fiji Times in a letter to the editor from its Melbourne contributor, Colin Deoki. (see below)
Like the Fiji Times itself, Colin Deoki studiously avoids any mention of Victor Lal of Fijileaks, who actually broke the story of the Tabuya- Radrodro scandal. Perhaps that may be because he is said to be related to Victor Lal. But I am particularly disappointed that Colin suggests that I am an “absolute disgrace” to my family.
My late father, the Rev Peter Davis, was close to the Deoki family – Colin’s grandfather, the late Rev Ramsay Deoki of the Indian division of the Methodist Church, and his late father, Andrew, another staunch Methodist who eventually became Attorney General of Fiji. And it is inconceivable to me that any of these people would have approved of Lynda Tabuya’s scandalous conduct.
Her reputation is about to receive another battering with fresh disclosures by Victor Lal about her text messages with Aseri Radrodro relating to drug use. But there is already a call in a letter to the Fiji Sun for her to stand aside pending an investigation into the evidence against her. (see below)
The Executive Committee of the People’s Alliance Party is reported to be due to meet to discuss the allegations against Lynda Tabuya. A Grubsheet source from within the party says it is now generally accepted that the explosive text messages between Lynda and Aseri are authentic. And the main thing to be decided is precisely what action should be taken against her. “We have to do things by the book and cover all the legal bases”, this source said.
So a lot more to come.