7 May 2004

Fiji military yet to comment on Bainimarama allegations

4:08 pm on 7 May 2004

Fiji's military has declined to comment on fresh allegations that its commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, planned to remove the Qarase government and take over control late last year.

The allegations come in a statement signed by three of the five senior officers whom Commodore Bainimarama sent on leave in January, for refusing to pledge allegiance to him, and who were later told to resign.

The three are Colonel Alfred Tuatoko, who wrote the statement, Lieutenant Colonel Samu Raduva and Commander Tevita Koroi, who signed as witnesses.

They claim that the plan to take over the government was made at the height of the stand-off between the government and Commodore Bainimarama, over the issue of his reappointment for another term.

The trio claims it was removed for refusing to support the plan, with the statement giving details of relevant meetings, and the dates, venues and names involved.

Military officials say they will not respond to the allegations before Commodore Bainimarama returns from his trip to the United States.