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‘A big loss for the nation’: Fiji’s public prosecutor dies at 49

Wednesday 4 October 2023 | Written by RNZ | Published in Fiji, Regional


‘A big loss for the nation’: Fiji’s public prosecutor dies at 49
Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, Ratu David Toganivalu outside the Magistrates Court in Suva in July 2023. Photo: FijiLive/ Kunal Keshneel/23100313

Fiji's attorney general has confirmed the acting director of public prosecutions (DPP) and acting commissioner of the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) David Toganivalu, 49, has died.

While the government is yet to make an official announcement, Siromi Turaga told RNZ Pacific, "it is a big loss for the nation".

The Toganivalu family has issued a statement to local media saying he was surrounded by his family when he died.

He started a private law firm in 2012, before later serving as DPP in Nauru from 2014 to 2017.

Toganivalu returned to Fiji before being appointed as acting DPP and FICAC Acting Commissioner earlier this year.

Turaga is remembering a man who was humble, from a family that has "served Fiji very well".

"I am just lost beyond words," Turaga said.

He said the Toganivalu family are a chiefly family that are well respected.

A former leader of opposition and paramount chief, Ro Teimumu Vuikava Kepa, has sent her condolences.

In a post to social media she said the death is a "tragic loss, to his surviving mother, siblings, relatives and friends".

In line with traditional protocol, friends and family say they will not speak out ahead of the reguregu, an indigenous Fijian tradition where people pay their respects ahead of the burial.

But as many mourn the loss of a man who is said to have always helped others, people are also reflecting on the stress of his job.

As the acting director of public prosecutions he had acted for the state in the high profile case against Fiji's former prime minister Frank Bainimarama.

Local media report the funeral service is to be held on Saturday.

He is survived by his wife, Losalini Leweniqila Toganivalu and five children, Maria Esther, David-Edward, Viliame, Josua and Liliwaimanu; his mother Adi Asilina Davila Toganivalu and three sisters, Angela, Tuipolotu and Diana.