5 May 2004

Two senior Fiji police officers stood down over coup involvement

3:26 pm on 5 May 2004

Fiji police have stood down two senior officers for their involvement in the May 2000 coup and say it's the tip of the iceberg.

Police spokesperson, Mesake Koroi, says one officer was involved in escorting weapons from the military army to the rebels at parliament while the other ordered twelve rebels to be released after their arrests.

Mr Koroi also says fresh evidence uncovered in the internal investigation will result in the former police commissioner, Colonel Isikia Savua, being questioned further over his alleged involvement.

"The police have not ruled out the possibility of Savua with the kind of evidence that is coming up. The possibility is that we will need to question Savua further. It will really depend on the type of evidence that the investigating team is collecting now as to when they will go to New York to interview him."

Mr Koroi says the information has come from Colonel Seruvakula, who's been attached to the New Zealand army, which will form the basis of evidence to bring in Colonel Savua.

Colonel Seruvakula told Fiji police three years ago of the names of several highly-ranked people he alleged were behind the coup.

The former police commissioner is on attachment to the U.N.