20 May 2004

Fiji's Bainimarama snubs commission of inquiry

10:24 am on 20 May 2004

There are reports that Fiji's military commander has rejected a commission of inquiry into allegations against him.

Commodore Bainimarama is reported as saying the claims are a waste of time and state money, that will come back to haunt the government.

The Fiji Sun quotes, Commodore Bainimarama, as saying the government knows what the agenda is, and is working fast towards that goal, but it will come up with nothing.

Commodore Bainimarama has criticised the government for deciding on a commission of inquiry without first asking the police to investigate the allegations.

Three out of five senior suspended military officers claim Commodore Bainimarama wanted to overthrow the government, if his term, as commander, was not renewed.

But Commodore Bainimarama is asking why the government didn't get his side of the story.

He asks why it's taking the word of officers, who are themselves, under investigation for their role in the coup.

Commodore Bainimarama is asking whether the government thinks he's stupid enough to become involved with officers allegedly instrumental in the coup.

He says there are people you can't trust and (after the mutiny) he transferred the five suspended officers from the Queen Elizabeth Barracks to the army's strategic headquarters, so he could keep an eye on them.

Commodore Bainimarama says if the police haven't done anything and no one has referred it to the police, the allegations are a non-issue as far as the public is concerned.