27 May 2002

Fiji Chief under investigation for alleged links to November mutiny travels to China with PM

1:34 pm on 27 May 2002

A Fijian provincial paramount chief who was put on a black list of people forbidden entry into Australia and New Zealand after the May 2000 coup has accompanied the prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, on an official visit to China.

He is Ratu Inoke Takiveikata who is the paramount chief of Naitasiri province and a vice president of Mr Qarase's ruling SDL party.

Ratu inoke, who is also facing a charge of conspiracy in connection with the November 2000 army mutiny which claimed eight lives, sought a relaxation of bail conditions from the magistrate's court to go to China.

His black ban from australia and New Zealand was revealed in the Suva magistrate's court last year when his lawyer sought return of bail money after he was refused entry into both countries.