16 Jun 2003

Fiji's military denies that all weapons have been returned after the May 2000

9:14 am on 16 June 2003

Fiji's military has rejected a claim made in parliament by George Speight's brother, that all weapons used in the May 2000 coup have been returned.

Government MP, Samisoni Tikonisau, made the claim while admitting that during the first two weeks of the coup, weapons flowed freely from the military into parliament because of orders from a higher authority.

Mr Tikonisau argued that all weapons were returned and because of this all those involved in the coup should be granted immunity according to the Muanikau Accord signed by Speight and the military commander.

But the military spokesman, Warrant Officer, Neumi Leweni, says Mr Tikonisau's claims are false.

Warrant Officer Leweni has told the Fiji Times that a total of 13 military weapons were still missing even after an army sniper rifle and a pistol were found in bushes near Lami in March last year.

He says because the rebels did not return all the weapons they were not granted immunity.