18 May 2004

Fiji's military commander says he'll accept cabinet verdict

10:45 am on 18 May 2004

Fiji's military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, says he'll accept any decision reached by the cabinet today, on allegations that he planned to overthrow the government.

Today's full cabinet will follow a meeting of the National Security Council yesterday, which comprised, the prime minister, the ministers for foreign affairs and home affairs and the attorney-general.

They considered allegations by suspended senior officers that Commodore Bainimarama planned to overthrow the government if his term was as commander was not renewed.

Commodore Bainimarama wanted more time in the job to be able to pursue prosecutions into the year 2000 coup and mutinies.

The Commodore has told the Fiji Times that it is the cabinet's call to make, and he doesn't have a say in the matter.

But, he says, the allegations against him are unsubstantiated, and purely speculative.

Commodore Bainimarama says he would like "all these colonels to come out publicly and declare it."

He says he's willing to bet that "they did not prepare the paper (making the allegations) themselves."