30 Oct 2003

Fiji police investigating plot to murder former PM

11:15 am on 30 October 2003

Fiji police are investigating a plot to kidnap and assassinate the former prime minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, a month before the May 2000 coup overthrew his government.

The Daily Post says this has been revealed by the police commissioner, Andrew Hughes, who says the plot is among the major investigations remaining into the coup.

Others include the removal of President Mara from office, the illegal swearing of oaths to join George Speight's failed administration and the financiers of the coup.

As well, there is the involvement of people as alleged by former Fiji army officer, Lt Col Viliame Seruvakula, the alleged involvement of former police commissioner, Col Isikia Savua and the murder of soldiers from the now disbanded Counter Revolutionary Warfare Unit which staged the November 2000 mutiny.

In another case, a paramount chief is standing trial for inciting mutiny.

Mr Hughes says there are people who have detailed and intimate knowledge of what happened and who was involved .

He has appealed to them to come forward with the evidence to help with the coup imvestigations before they wind up by the end of this year.

Mr Hughes says its now time for people to stand up and be counted and anyone with credible evidence should phone him and talk to him directly.

The final, independent review of all coup-related cases will take place next month with the arrival of two police officers from New Zealand.