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Navy sailors handed severe reprimand sentence and fine

July 24, 2018 1:12 am

The four navy sailors responsible for the grounding of RFNS Kiro on July 14th, 2016 have been sentenced by the general court martial at the RFMF camp in Nabua this morning.

Lieutenant Commander Saula Tuilevuka, Lieutenant Ben Salacakau and Ensign Mike Brown were handed a severe reprimand sentence or last warning and fined with regards to their salary for 28 days.

President Judge Commander Netani Sukanaivalu told the court, the panel of judges waved their decision based on the fact that this was their first offense, their unblemished record of service, their mitigating factors and guilty plea on the first day of the hearing, the summary of prosecution on sentencing, the Judge Advocates sentencing brief and considered national security and operational status and readiness of the Fiji Navy.

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The court also considered the fact the navy sailors and the crew were not provided counseling after the incident.

However, the general court martial decided to impose a reduction of rank of Lieutenant Samuela Cikaitoga to a substantive Sub Lieutenant.

Cikaitoga who was the Commanding Officer of RFNS Kiro when the incident happened was also handed a severe reprimand sentence and fined with regards to his salary for 28 days.

Judge Commander Sukanaivalu says the sentences given by the court will deter offenders or other people from committing offences of similar nature.

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