Pio claims he suffered emotionally

Opposition parliamentarian Pio Tikoduadua shows the alleged manhandling video of him outside the parliament complex. Picture: RAMA/FILE

SUSPENDED Opposition MP and National Federation Party president Pio Tikoduadua says he suffered “emotionally” after being allegedly manhandled by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

He revealed this to the Parliamentary Privileges Committee when he was summoned before the committee on September 3.

This was after committee member and Defence Minister Inia Seruiratu questioned him if he had “in the cause of that alleged assault, sustain any injuries”.

In his response, Mr Tikoduadua confirmed he did not sustain any physical injury.

“That is a statement of fact, no physically, no; emotionally, yes, I was, because in terms of that, one of the things that is not coming out clearly because he threatened me, honourable member,” he told the committee.

“He said, ‘qarauni iko tiko’, I do not want to go back. Those are things.

“So it was the psychological, emotional side more rather than the physical.”

Mr Seruiratu then again questioned Mr Tikoduadua if he was emotionally stable when the PM confronted him.

Mr Tikoduadua in response said his hands were down and he had no intention of reprisal.

“He was coming at me angrily, I did not defend myself. He shoved me, I moved back. I weigh 110 kilograms and I weigh more than the Prime Minister. I am actually very heavy and I am tall.

“He shoved me back enough with such a force that I said he broke my glasses.

“But reaction, I only spoke to him. I was replying to the question he was asking me and I never lost my cool.

“He was surrounded by his bodyguards. I was only watching the bodyguard’s right-hand, that was my focus. I was watching the police who were standing on those steps, I was watching the bodyguards where their right hands were, their job was to protect the Prime Minister and my appreciation was running through my mind, do I defend myself that he has attacked me.”

In his evidence to the committee, Mr Bainimarama said the allegation that he had hit Mr Tikoduadua was not true.

“I did not hit him or the allegations that I pulled his collar, did I break a button, did I tear any part of his shirt? No, in fact, I wanted to get his attention when I walked up to him,” he said.

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