2 Apr 2004

Former Fiji PM wants agriculture probe widened

3:25 pm on 2 April 2004

The former Fiji prime minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, has called for a widening of the inquiry into the 13-million US dollar agriculture ministry scam, which took place during the term of the post-coup interim administration.

Mr Rabuka has told the Fiji Sun newspaper the money was used for vote buying ahead of the 2001 general election, and this is illegal.

Mr Rabuka says police investigating the scam should look into the validity of the decree for the release of the funds, and who authorised it.

He says the investigation is concentrating on the small players but it is the 'big boys' who made the decision who should be taken to task.

Mr Rabuka says vote buying is illegal, and this is the area the investigators should concentrate on.

The former prime minister says the government is always preaching transparency, and should come clean on the issue.