16 July 2009
THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD — Eight Australians spent a night in a Fiji prison cell after police, alerted by frightened residents suspecting sorcery, raided their Freemasons meeting.
The Australians were among 14 people arrested and then released in Fiji on charges of sorcery after conducting a meeting of the Freemasons society, The Canberra Times reported on Thursday.
It is understood Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama granted the men an official pardon after the group contacted the Fiji Attorney-General’s office, the paper said.
The group was held at Nasudi police station for 24 hours after their arrest at Denarau Island on Tuesday night until they received news of the top-level intervention.
“An officer came in and said, ‘We have been ordered by the prime minister’s department to release you, however, the matter will still remain under investigation’, and the prime minster himself is coming to the office later in the day to review the evidence,” a member of the group, who didn’t want to be named, said. […]