Australian and New Zealander freemasons arrested for sorcery in Fiji
Saturday, July 18, 2009
A group of fourteen Freemasons were arrested and held in Fiji on charges of sorcery. The group, which included eight Australians and one New Zealander, was arrested on Tuesday night on Denarau Island. They were held for 24 hours at the police station at Nasudi, but were released by order of Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama.
The Freemasons had been convening a Masonic meeting, but did not, according to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, have the correct permit. Waisea Tabakau, the police director of operations, told Legend FM News in Fiji that the Freemasons were being investigated for "allegedly practising sorcery", after complaints by villagers.
The New Zealander commented to reporters that his time in police custody had been "wretched", and that the arrests had been the result of "dopey village people".
A spokesman for the ADFAT stated that Fiji police were continuing their investigations.