22 Jun 2004

Member of Fiji's coalition govt accused of conspiring overthrow of army Commander

9:39 am on 22 June 2004

A complaint has been lodged with the Fiji police that members of the junior partner in the Qarase coalition government approached a senior army officer to help seize the main army camp in Suva and overthrow the commander, Commodore Bainimarama.

The Fiji Times reports that the executive director of the Citizens Constitutional Forum, the Rev Aquila Yabaki, has lodged the complaint.

The Rev Yabaki says the officer who was approached by members of the pro-coup Conservative Alliance Matanitu Vanua had reported the matter to him in April.

The conversation took place after three other suspended officers alleged that Commodore Bainimarama had planned to overthrow the Qarase government if his term as commander was not renewed.

The Rev Yabaki says the officer who was asked to help seize the army camp turned down the approach but because the matter was in confidence, he has only now reported the conversation to the police commissioner, Andrew Hughes.

Meanwhile, the three suspended officers who made the allegations against Commodore Bainimarama are back at work in the army.