17 May 2004

Fiji cabinet to decide how to deal with Bainimarama coup allegations

2:53 pm on 17 May 2004

Fiji's National Security Council has decided that a full cabinet meeting tomorrow should decide how to deal with allegations that the military commander planned to overthrow the government.

This was in case Commodore Frank Bainimarama's term as commander was not renewed.

The prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, who chaired the National Security Council meeting, says the matter is so serious that it is being treated with the utmost urgency.

He says today's meeting considered a paper on the issue from the home affairs minister, Joketani Cokanasiga.

But he says the final decision will be made by the full cabinet tomorrow.

The home affairs minister has been asked to make recommendations to the cabinet on the most appropriate way to deal with the allegations, taking into account the collective view of the Security Council.

Radio Legend says Commodore Bainimarama was not present at the National Security Council meeting and was attending the funeral of a senior officer, Col Ulaiasi Vatu, who died last Friday