3 Feb 2004

Police investigations in Fiji's coup allegedly hampered by senior officers

3:27 pm on 3 February 2004

A Labour Party MP in Fiji, Poseci Bune, says police investigations into the 2000 coup are being hampered by top police officers linked to the force's former commissioner.

The former commissioner, Col Isikia Savua, has been cleared in a probe by a former chief justice and is now Fiji's ambassador at the United Nations in New York.

Mr Bune says he has spoken to a number of people who have confirmed that the then commissioner was set to take over from Mahendra Chaudhry whose government was toppled by an elite military force fronted by George Speight.

"The former commissioner of Police, Isikia Savua, two days before the coup, had hosted a tea party at his office, ready to move to become the prime minister. This was two days before the coup took place."

A police spokesman, Mesake Koroi, says the Savua case is still open but he adds that evidence needs to be submitted that can stand up in court.