19 May 2004

Fiji police being asked to investigate allegations of coup approach against army commander

4:22 pm on 19 May 2004

The Fiji police are being given information to investigate allegations that a suspended army officer was approached to stage a coup against the army commander.

The Citizens Constitutional Forum, the CCF, says it was informed by one of five suspended officers that he'd been asked by members of the junior coalition party to help overthrow Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

The reiteration of these claims come as the cabinet announced a commission of inquiry into allegations by three of the other officers that the army commander planned to bring down the government.

The CCF's Jone Dakuvula says the officer, who turned down the approach, disclosed that it had been made by members of Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua party.

"He didn't name them but he said they were members of the Matanitu Vanua, the junior partner of the government. He said some of them had been people who had been held up in Nukulau and had been released. And, the impression I had was he was talking about activists, political activists, prominent people."

Nukulau Island is where convicted members of the coup were imprisoned.

The frontman for the coup, George Speight, is the only remaining prisoner on the island.